Alabama Football: Strength and Conditioning Program receives significant upgrade

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

While all appeared bleak for Alabama football after Scott Cochran left for Georgia, head coach Nick Saban hires a winning, groundbreaking duo from Indiana University in David Ballou and Dr. Matt Shea for a much-needed upgrade.

The surprise announcement of Head Strength and Conditioning coach, Scott Cochran to Georgia after 13 exceptional seasons sent Alabama football fans into an uncontrollable and painful tailspin. An energetic and a familiar face in the organization, he worked with the players all the time. The biggest loss is his close relationship with the players that will take time to replace. Cochran’s legendary, vibrant, and demanding Fourth Quarter program made teams’ asses quit earlier in his tenure.

Pundits bellowed Cochran’s departure was the proverbial final nail in the coffin for the never-ending dynasty. However, Saban calmly dusted off his Rolodex and delved deep into the heart of Indiana for an unlikely duo to upgrade to a newer, up to date strength program.

Watch out, college football!

Hoosiers Director of Athletic Performance David Ballou, a former Indiana University fullback, is expected to bring along, Dr. Matt Rhea, the High-Performance Coordinator at Indiana. Both arrived in Bloomington in 2018. Previous stops include Notre Dame, Avon (Ind.) High School and IMG Academy. They were highly sought after in the NFL, also.

For the last three seasons, the number of injuries suffered in Tuscaloosa was on the rise. Tide fans pointed to the Fourth Quarter program, claiming it was old and antiquated.

Ballou and Rhea are punting away critics who think their program is just the same old thing.

Dr. Rhea spoke on how their program is not like all the others in an interview with,

"“I hear people talk about, ‘All training is the same, people are basically all doing the same stuff, they might just package it different or sell it different.’ That drives me crazy, because I think our players have seen very quickly that (our program) absolutely doesn’t look like most other places they’ve seen or ways they’ve been told they should train,” says Rhea."

Ballou is the strength coach, and Rhea is the speed coach. Together, their training program is second to none.

New Blood Needed for Future

According to Matt Zenitz, there were only two interviews for the highly coveted position, the combo of Ballou and Rhea and Kansas State’s Chris Dawson. Saban rarely misses on a hire. His meticulous research ensures he brings the right fit into his organization.

Will Cochran leaving become a blessing in disguise for Alabama football? Yes, Alabama needed some new life injected into the training program. Ballou and Rhea are the right two to bring the program back to life.

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The tremendous impact both coaches could bring to Alabama football guarantees future success for the Crimson Tide.