Nick Saban has apparently made a decision on who will fill Scott Cochran’s considerable shoes in the strength and conditioning program, as Indiana’s David Ballou has reportedly accepted the job.
A former Indiana fullback (heck yeah Son!), Ballou has overseen the Hoosiers’ strength program the last two seasons. He spent the 2017 season at Notre Dame serving as co-director of football strength & conditioning.
Prior to his time at Notre Dame Ballou was the head strength coach at IMG Academy in Florida.
Ballou graduated from Indiana with a bachelor’s in Kinesiology, then earned an master’s in human movement and spent more than a decade running high school strength and conditioning programs. He is known as a fantastic recruiter, and his ties to IMG Academy undoubtedly played a role in this decision. As a physical trainer, he uses data and technology to the fullest, as seen in this feature.
Ballou comes as a package deal with Dr. Matt Rhea, who holds a PhD in Physical Education. He, too, is analytically driven. The two clearly have a fantastic working relationship.
Want to know how much @IU_CoachBallou pays attention to data? He catches a missing data point on a sheet covering thousands of reps from over 100 players. Recalls from memory one players watts in a rear elevated squat, from two weeks ago. He’s a damn car-squatting savant.— Matt Rhea, PhD (@MattRheaPhD) February 9, 2020
If you are on Twitter, check out Rhea’s timeline. There is a bunch of impressive stuff on there from video to data to coaching philosophy. This nugget will be of particular interest to many Alabama fans.
@IndianaFootball games missed due to injury down to 33 from an already low 47 in 2018. Great synergism between sports medicine, sport science, and S&C in support of our highly committed athletes.— Matt Rhea, PhD (@MattRheaPhD) December 13, 2019
It’s tough to say how much of an impact a strength coach really has on injuries, but perhaps we are about to find out.
Obviously none of us will know much about the qualifications of any strength coach, but all indications are that these two are known as a couple of the best in the business. As usual, Saban knocked it out of the park.
Welcome, Coach Ballou and Dr. Rhea.