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06/05/08 7:52 PM ET

Falco hired as new conditioning coach

Fultz resigns after over 15 years with Braves in that position

ATLANTA -- When Phil Falco arrived at Turner Field on Thursday to begin his duties as the Braves' strength and conditioning coach, he was displaying a big smile and hoping to help reduce the amount of injuries the Braves have endured this season.

Falco, who has served as the Braves' Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator since 2003, has been brought to Atlanta to replace Frank Fultz, who had been their Major League strength and conditioning coach since 1992.

When asked about Fultz's situation, Braves general manager Frank Wren could only reveal that Fultz had resigned.

Falco learned of his promotion when he was with the organization's Class A Myrtle Beach club on Tuesday night. Fultz made his decision after meeting with Braves officials on Wednesday morning.

"It's great to be here, and this is a wonderful opportunity," said Falco, who was the Brewers' strength and conditioning coach from 2000-2002.

Fultz's midseason departure has drawn a number of questions. But a club official said this wasn't a product of the number of injuries the Braves have endured this year.

Falco has previously met all of the Braves' players while they were in the Minors or over the course of the past six years, while participating in the club's big league Spring Training camp.

Before Thursday night's game against the Marlins, Falco said his three goals were to -- (1) increase the players' athletic performance (2) decrease the risk of injury and (3) teach health-related issues.

Falco, 35, played collegiate baseball at George Mason University and Appalachian State University. He began his coaching career in 1997, when he worked with the Tigers during Spring Training and the Rays' Class A team in Charleston, S.C, during the regular season. One year later, he began a two-year stint as the Braves Minor League strength and conditioning coordinator.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.