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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, January 19, 2017 1:43 pm

Irish hire receivers coach, new strength and conditioning head

Chris Goff | The Journal Gazette

Notre Dame's busy offseason continued Thursday with the hiring of DelVaughn Alexander as wide receivers coach and the appointment of Matt Balis as director of football performance.

Alexander, who played wide receiver at Southern California in the 1990s, spent the past five seasons as an assistant at Arizona State, including four working with receivers, and coached receivers at Wisconsin from 2007-11.

“I was looking for an experienced teacher, mentor, recruiter and developer of student-athletes,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said in a statement issued by the team. “Del not only met the criteria but exceeded it. He also understands, respects and values the type of young men we want to bring to this university and football program.”

Balis replaces Paul Longo, who, after heading up the Irish's strength and conditioning program for the last seven years, is taking a leave of absence that was announced Thursday.

Balis comes from Connecticut, where he was strength and conditioning coordinator for three seasons. He has also overseen the strength and conditioning programs at Mississippi State, Virginia and Utah.

"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," 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."