Jan. 12, 2010
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Paul Longo, a veteran strength and conditioning coach with 18 years of experience with NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools, has been named director of football strength and conditioning at the University of Notre Dame, Irish head football coach Brian Kelly announced Tuesday.
Longo just completed his third season at the University of Cincinnati and has worked alongside Kelly as his speed, strength and conditioning coach since Kelly's first season at Central Michigan in 2004. Longo will work with the Notre Dame football team and will oversee two assistant directors of strength and conditioning (Jacob Flint and Lorenzo Guess).
Longo instilled a grueling strength and conditioning program at Cincinnati that helped the Bearcats become one of the top closing teams in the nation. Under Kelly's watch at Cincinnati, the Bearcats were 32-0 when entering a fourth quarter with a lead and 29-2 when leading at halftime. Since 2005 at Central Michigan, Kelly's teams are 42-1 when leading after three quarters and 39-2 when taking the lead into halftime.
Stops at Wisconsin (1987), Iowa (1988-98), Central Michigan (2004-06) and Cincinnati (2007-09) have helped Longo produce more than 50 NFL draft picks. Eight Bearcats were selected in 2008 and 2009 combined, equal to the combined total of NFL draft picks from Cincinnati in the previous five drafts.
At Central Michigan, Longo served as the head strength coach and helped develop five NFL draft selections, including Longo's prized pupil, Joe Staley. Staley entered Central Michigan in 2003 as a tight end and graduated as a left tackle and the first Chippewa to be a NFL first-round draft pick.
Staley caught 11 passes for 130 yards and one touchdown in his freshman season. Longo arrived with Kelly prior to the 2004 season and helped Staley pack on 80 pounds during his Chippewa career as he grew into an offensive tackle. He started 11 games at right tackle as a sophomore and moved to left tackle where he started all 25 games from 2005-06 and allowed only one combined sack in his final two seasons.
After becoming just the fifth Central Michigan player to participate in the Senior Bowl, Staley became the 28th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, picked by the San Francisco 49ers.
From 1988-2003, Longo served on the strength and conditioning staff at Iowa and worked primarily with football from 1988-98. He worked with Hall of Fame coach Hayden Fry as Longo served as the assistant strength coach for the football program from 1988-92 before being promoted to head strength coach for the Hawkeye football team in 1993. Longo played a critical role in helping the Hawkeyes to seven bowl games including the 1991 Rose Bowl after Iowa claimed the Big Ten Conference championship in 1990.
The 1991 Hawkeyes compiled a 10-1-1 record and finished second in the Big Ten with a 7-1 ledger. Iowa was ranked 10th in the final polls after tying BYU in the Holiday Bowl. Longo also made two trips to the Sun and Alamo Bowls and one appearance in the Peach Bowl.
Longo began his career as an assistant strength and conditioning coach at Wisconsin in 1987.
Longo graduated from Wayne State University in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in physical education. He was a four-year starter at wide receiver on the Warriors' football team, set season and career receiving records and twice was the MVP. Longo went to training camps as a free agent with four professional teams in three different leagues.
Born Dec. 3, 1958, Longo attended Adlai Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights, Mich. He and his wife Shannon have a son (Anthony) and a daughter (Natalie).
THE LONGO FILE