Head of human performance, Richard Hawkins came to United in March 2008, having previously occupied roles with the Football Association and West Bromwich Albion.
After seven years of studying a degree, Masters and Phd in Sports Science at Loughborough University - a year ahead of head fitness coach Tony Strudwick - Hawkins became deputy head of Sports Science with the FA, based at Lilleshall.
There he set up a sports science programme for the England international teams, developed research linked in with clubs and Academies, and provided coaching education over the course of eight years.
In early 2005, Richard joined Bryan Robson's West Brom as conditioning coach. He spent two seasons at The Hawthorns before following Robson to Sheffield United at the beginning of the 2007/08 season. His role with the Blades was short-lived, and a move to United beckoned before the season's end.
The move meant a reunion with Strudwick from their university days, and also time spent together at the FA. Hawkins was familiar with a number of United's backroom staff, which allowed him to quickly settle at Carrington, where the club's sports science department was developing under Strudwick's leadership.