Notre Dame has officially hired Matt Balis to lead its strength and conditioning program. His job title will be director of football performance.
“It’s an honor and dream come true to be part of the Notre Dame football program,” Balis (pronounced Bay-less) said in a statement released by the university. “I’m humbled by this opportunity and I’ll work hard every day to give our players and program my absolute best.”
“Matt comes to Notre Dame with impeccable credentials and incredibly high praise from the likes of Urban Meyer, Mickey Marotti, Dan Mullen, Bob Diaco and Al Groh,” Irish head coach Brian Kelly said. “He’s already instituted a strength program built with a foundation that focuses on hard work, discipline and top-notch competition. Matt will demand the best from our players, not only in the weight room, but in many other areas within our program. I couldn’t be more excited to have him in place moving forward.”
Balis spent the past three seasons as the strength and conditioning coordinator at Connecticut, where he worked under former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Diaco, who was with the Irish from 2010-13. Prior to that, Balis was the head strength coach at Mississippi State for five years.
Balis takes over for Paul Longo, who served as Kelly’s head strength coach for the past 13 seasons, dating back to Kelly’s first season as the head coach at Central Michigan (2004).
Prior to his stint with Mississippi State, Balis served as the director of strength and conditioning for football at the University of Virginia (2007-08) under former head coach Al Groh.
His previous four years were spent working with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer during his stints at Florida and Utah.
In 2010, Balis was a finalist for the Football Scoop Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year Award after the Bulldogs finished 9-4.
“I strongly believe that Matt Balis is the best strength coach in the country,” Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen said when he hired Balis in 2008. “His work with both Florida’s national championship team in 2006 and Utah’s 12-0 season in 2004 shows his experience in creating championship-winning programs.”
Mullen often referred to Balis as “the most important part of his program,” with the Bulldogs.