Growing up as a kid in New York, Toub showed at an early age the kind of dedication and passion that would eventually help define his professional life.
“I was into weight lifting big time,” Toub explained of his younger days. “We didn't have a lot growing up, so I just made my own weight room. I made my own leg press, my own bench press, everything.
“I wanted to be the best I could be and I needed to get bigger and stronger. That’s how I had to do it.”
All that work paid off for Toub, who after a standout prep career would start his college football career at Springfield College in Massachusetts.
“I was playing offensive tackle and I was very successful to be honest with you,” he said, “but I always wanted to challenge myself and play Division I.”
Toub had initially gone to Springfield College because it was the best physical education school in the country, and his post-college plan was to go back and coach at the high school level.
"I was into weight lifting big time. We didn't have a lot growing up, so I just made my own weight room. I made my own leg press, my own bench press, everything. I wanted to be the best I could be and I needed to get bigger and stronger. That’s how I had to do it."
- Toub on growing up in New York
But after two years at the Division II level, Toub had an opportunity to transfer and play at the University of Texas El-Paso, a Division I program in the Western Athletic Conference.
It was always his goal to put himself up against top competition and now he had his chance to play against the Arizona States, BYUs and other Division I programs.
After redshirting his first year at UTEP, Toub was voted a team captain prior to his junior year and before he ever played a snap for them.
“It meant a lot because they recognized I was a leader,” Toub explained of being named a captain. “I excelled there and that was a big thing for me, to know that I could do it against that level of competition.”
Toub was a two-time All-WAC selection (1983-84) at center and was named the program’s most outstanding offensive lineman during his junior and senior seasons.
He was selected in the ninth round of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles and then spent time with the Los Angeles Rams in 1986.
When his playing career came to an end, Toub changed his focus back to strength and conditioning, an area he had been passionate about since he began building his own training equipment back in high school.
Toub began working back at his alma mater under coach Stull as a graduate assistant in 1986 before moving to the strength and conditioning staff in 1987, and it was then and there that he first crossed paths with Reid at that off-campus diner.
Two guys grinding it out in a small town in Texas two decades before they’d make their mark on the NFL.
After Reid and Toub spent two successful seasons together at UTEP, Stull was offered the head coaching position at the University of Missouri.
In the 10 years between 1977 and 1986, the Miners had won 17 games total.
In the two years (1987-88) under Stull, Toub, Reid and company, they matched that with 17 wins out of 24 games.
They had been a part of building something special together early in their professional careers.
Toub eventually joined Stull, Reid and company in Columbia six months after they had left to take over the Tigers program.
Russ Ball, who was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Tigers at the time, decided to leave and take an open position with the Kansas City Chiefs, which then produced an opening for Toub.
Even though he was just 27 years old, Toub had already made a name for himself as a strength coach.
"He was phenomenal,” Reid explained. “You could put him as one of the top strength coaches in the nation at the collegiate level.” It was the right fit for Toub in Columbia.
“That was a great opportunity for me,” Toub explained. “I was really young and moving up, going to become the head strength coach at a Division I school at 27 years old.”
Toub would spend the next nine years (1989-97) as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Missouri Tigers football program.
Reid left in 1991 after just three years at Mizzou to become the tight ends and offensive line coach for the Green Bay Packers.
While Toub stayed at Mizzou, their paths would cross again.
After nine years as the strength coach for the Tigers, a tragic turn of events set in motion a path that forever changed Toub’s life.
The Tigers defensive line coach at the time, whom Toub had been working with as an assistant of sorts as he also took care of his strength and conditioning duties, was a guy by the name of Curtis Jones Sr. Jones’ son, Corby, was the starting quarterback and a standout for the Tigers.
One July day in 1998, less than a month before the season was to begin, the Tigers lost their defensive line coach.
"Moe Ankney, the defensive coordinator, asked me if I would step in and take the D-line for a year. So that's how I ended up moving over to coaching."
- Toub on starting to coach
"[Coach Jones] died suddenly of a heart attack,” Toub explained.
It was a shock.
Jones, 55, had played for the Tigers in the 1960s and had coached there for 11 years under three different head coaches.
With this sudden tragedy came a precarious position for Toub, who was given an opportunity to leave the weight room and head to the field.
“Moe Ankney, the defensive coordinator, asked me if I would step in and take the D-line for a year.
“So that's how I ended up moving over to coaching.”
It’s the move that officially brought Toub over from a strength coach to a football coach, and while it transpired from a terrible event, the path it laid out for Toub changed his life.
"That changed my whole career,” Toub explained. “I was getting out of the weight room and out to the football field.
“It changed everything for me.”
While Toub had assisted offensive and defensive line coaches during his time at both UTEP and Missouri, he had never been a positional coach, but that didn’t stop him from approaching it the same way he had everything else in his life up to that point.
"I was ready to attack it,” Toub explained. “I was going to be the best D-line coach there was. That was my mentality.
“So I worked hard at it and ended up having a good player and that's it."
That player was former All-American defensive end Justin Smith, who would have one of the best careers in school history during his three-year stay with Toub and the Tigers.
"He was dominant from day one,” Toub said of Smith. “As soon as he stepped on the field as a freshman, he dominated."
Smith was one of eight true freshman that saw action for the Tigers that season for head coach Larry Smith, who had replaced Stull after the 1993 season.
During his junior year, Smith finished the season with 11 sacks, 24 tackles for loss and 97 total tackles, earning first-team All-American honors.
Smith would be selected as the No. 4 overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
Toub would ultimately spend three years with the Tigers as their defensive line coach, all of which came with Smith in his meeting room.
After the 2000 season, Toub and the entire Missouri coaching staff was fired.
Just like that, Toub was trying to figure out what was next.