March 2, 2015
Former University of Notre Dame quarterback and assistant football coach Ron Powlus has been named director of player development for the Fighting Irish.
Powlus will be 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 will act as a liaison between Notre Dame football players and the Irish coaching staff and also serve as primary contact between both the Notre Dame student welfare and development office and academic services for student-athletes department.
Through the athletics department's student welfare and development office, Powlus will help coordinate community service projects via the Irish Around the Bend initiative. He also will coordinate and monitor study hall sessions through the associate director and senior academic counselor of the academic services for student-athletes department.
Prior to his return to Notre Dame Powlus spent the better part of three seasons as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Kansas (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 Irish 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 touchdowns.
He signed as a free agent in 1998 with the Tennessee Oilers of the National Football League and then was on the Detroit Lions' preseason roster in 1999 and the Philadelphia Eagles' roster in 2000.
Powlus played with NFL Europe's Amsterdam Admirals in the spring of 2000.
In 1992 he was hailed by Parade as the prep football player of the year and by USA Today as the offensive player of the year.
A native of Berwick, Pennsylvania, Powlus earned his bachelor's degree in marketing from the University of Notre Dame in 1997. He and his wife, Sara, are parents of two sons, Ronnie and Tommy.