Notre Dame football received some shocking news on Tuesday when the University announced that Matt Balis had resigned as the strength and conditioning coach in a press release just days before fall camp opens.
“I want to thank Coach Balis for all of the work he put into elevating our program,” said Dick Corbett Head Coach Marcus Freeman said in a statement released by the University. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for who he is as a coach and a man.
“While there is never a perfect time to lose a valuable teammate, we are thankful that Coach Balis was able to see us through our summer program and have our players physically prepared to head into the upcoming season.”
Notre Dame announced that Fred Hale would replace Balis in the interim as Notre Dame prepares for the 2023 college football season.
Matt Balis was a formidable force as the strength and conditioning coach at the University of Notre Dame, where his unwavering dedication and innovative approach significantly elevated the athletic program. With a reputation for excellence in his field, Balis brought a new fitness and performance enhancement era to the Fighting Irish.
One of Balis’ defining characteristics was his passion for fostering a culture of hard work and commitment among Notre Dame athletes. His training philosophy emphasized the importance of mental fortitude and resilience, instilling in players the belief that success was achieved through relentless effort and determination. Under his guidance, athletes were pushed beyond their limits, reaching new heights in their physical capabilities and mental toughness.
Balis’s training methods were both cutting-edge and personalized. He tailored workouts to suit each athlete’s unique needs, recognizing that individualized programs were key to unlocking maximum potential.
Beyond the weight room, Balis also focused on fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork among athletes. He understood that a strong team bond translated into better on-field performances, and his leadership extended beyond physical conditioning to emphasize character development and leadership skills.
Notre Dame’s resurgence as a powerhouse in college athletics could be partly attributed to Balis’ influence. Brian Kelly brought Balis into the program on the heels of the disastrous 2016 season that led to the program’s reboot.
The teams under his watch consistently displayed a level of endurance, strength, and agility that set them apart from competitors. Moreover, the Fighting Irish earned a reputation for maintaining peak performance throughout intense games and seasons. Balis was at Notre Dame for six straight bowl appearances from 2017 through last season. That run included two appearances in the College Football Playoffs.
Balis proved himself as an invaluable asset to Notre Dame’s athletic program. Through his unwavering commitment to excellence, innovative training methods, and emphasis on teamwork, he transformed the university’s approach to strength and conditioning.
In 2021, Matt Balis made a significant decision that delighted the Notre Dame community and reaffirmed his commitment to the university’s athletic program. Despite attracting interest from various other prestigious institutions following Brian Kelly’s departure, Balis chose to remain the strength and conditioning coach at Notre Dame.
His decision to stay was met with jubilation from players, coaches, and fans alike. Balis had become an integral part of the Notre Dame family, not only for his exceptional expertise but also for his genuine care for the athletes under his guidance. He had formed strong bonds with the players and was deeply invested in their success, both on and off the field.
Notre Dame will have difficulty finding someone to replace what Balis meant to this program full-time.