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Former Notre Dame quarterback and assistant coach Ron Powlus is in his third year in 2017 as the director of player development.

Powlus is responsible for helping develop the Irish football players in three of the five core areas head coach Brian Kelly uses to develop complete student-athletes: intellectual development, social development and spiritual development (the coaching staff is charged with skill development and the strength and conditioning staff is responsible for physical development).

Powlus acts as a liaison between the football players and the coaching staff serving to aid in their development and all matters related to life off-the-field.  He has created the 4for40: Excellence BeyoND Player Development Program designed to further develop players in the areas of community, leadership, investment, NFL, integration, career and service.  He coordinates community service projects via the football team’s “Irish Around the Bend” initiative. 

Powlus also works closely with academic services for student-athletes to coordinate and assist academic support efforts with resources, study sessions, and scheduling. 

Prior to his return to Notre Dame, Powlus spent the better part of three seasons as the quarterbacks coach at Kansas University (2012-14). He was the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach at the University of Akron for two years (2010-11).

Powlus previously spent five years at Notre Dame in two different roles: quarterbacks coach (2007-10) and director of personnel development (2005-06). In his initial role with the program, Powlus played an integral role in helping the 2006 and 2007 recruiting classes rank in the top 10 nationally as he helped direct the administrative aspects of Irish recruiting.

As an assistant coach, Powlus helped develop Jimmy Clausen into one of the most prolific passers in school history. Clausen still ranks first or second in 32 different passing categories, including tops in single-game completions, career completions per game, single-season completion percentage, career completion percentage, single-season pass efficiency, single-game passing yards per attempt, single-season 300-yard passing games, consecutive passes without an interception and lowest career interception percentage.

A four-year starter at quarterback for the Irish from 1994-97, Powlus was a two-time captain who set 20 school records at Notre Dame. He started all 44 regular-season games (plus two bowl games) in which he played and completed 558 of 969 passes for 7,602 yards and 52 TDs.

He signed as a free agent in 1998 with the Tennessee Oilers and then was on the Detroit Lions’ preseason roster in 1999 and the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster in 2000.

A native of Berwick, Pennsylvania, Powlus earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing from Notre Dame in 1997. He and his wife, Sara, are parents of two sons, Ronnie and Tommy.

Ron Powlus
Ron  Powlus

Director of Player Development

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