Matt Balis / Notre Dame Dir of Football Performance

  • HOMETOWN: Chicago, IL
  • YEARS AT NOTRE DAME: 2017-Present
  • ALMA MATER: Northern Illinois

Matt Balis serves as Notre Dame’s Director of Football Performance and is in his third season with the Fighting Irish. During his first two seasons, Notre Dame has compiled a record of 22-4, with his fervent enthusiasm in building up the team’s strength a key facet of that success.

After graduating from Northern Illinois in 1996, Balis spent five years as an assistant football coach at two different high schools in Wheaton, Illinois. During that time in 1998, he attended a strength and conditioning clinic at Notre Dame and his career trajectory soon took a different path.

Shifting Gears

In 2001, Balis served the first of two seasons as the University of Houston’s Assistant Director of Strength and Conditioning. Two years later, he was hired by Urban Meyer at Utah in that same capacity, becoming director of the Utes’ strength program the following year.

Balis then followed Meyer to Florida in 2005, spending two seasons in the Gator program, the last of which resulted in a BCS title. From there, he was in charge of the strength program at Virginia for two years before moving on to become the head strength coach at Mississippi for the next five seasons.

When one of Balis’ fellow assistant coaches at Virginia, Bob Diaco, became head coach at Connecticut in 2014, he hired Balis to head the Huskies’ strength program. After three years in that role, he took on the challenge of helping restore the prominence of the Irish football program.

Restoring Irish Pride

Balis arrived in the wake of the disastrous 4-8 season in 2016 and quickly went to work. Bringing with him a no-nonsense approach, his efforts helped a resurgent Notre Dame squad finish the 2017 season with a 10-3 record and close with a thrilling 21-17 victory in the Citrus Bowl.

That success served as a precursor for an undefeated 2018 regular season, which was capped with a comeback win at Southern Cal. In the celebratory atmosphere of the Irish locker room after that game, Balis was awarded a game ball for his efforts behind the scenes.

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