Jan. 12, 2010

Paul Longo Quotes

His thoughts about working at Notre Dame:
“I’m extremely excited. This is obviously the most unique opportunity in the country. I’m raring to go. It’s a blast to have this opportunity.”

Working with Brian Kelly at Central Michigan, Cincinnati and now Notre Dame:
“We had known each other through the coaching grapevine before I went to Central Michigan. I played in the league where he was coaching (Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference). More than anything, he is a winner. He’s a fantastic football coach and a great family man. As good a football coach as he is, he’s a better person. We have the same philosophies in terms of dealing with young men in terms of character and expectations. It was a natural fit.”

His impressions on the Notre Dame facilities:
“The facilities are as good as they get. There’s everything you could possibly need to help you compete at an extremely high level. We’re excited about working here.”

On his philosophy as a strength and conditioning coach:
“If you are talking about in terms of how we approach things, it’s an all-encompassing program. It fits with the football program. I work with strength and conditioning, but my interaction with the coaching staff is on a daily basis so there is carryover into what they are doing. We’re not just working on strength and conditioning. This is where the team chemistry and the team morale are created and developed on a year-round basis. When you get into spring football and training camp, the leaders are pretty much already in place. The leadership, the respect for each other and everything that goes into helping you win is formed in the offseason. When you get into spring football, then it’s all football so you have to have all of that other stuff figured out.”

On his personality and what the players should expect:
“Don’t cross me (laughing). I’d say I’m a no-nonsense guy. We like to get to work. I expect their best effort every time they come in the weight room, and we’ll get that.”

On what he attributes his teams having had such great success at maintaining leads in the second half and fourth quarters of games:
“It’s a number of different things. Obviously it starts at the top of the program with Coach Kelly and the emphasis he puts on strength and conditioning in his program. It goes to the buy-in with the players, the buy-in with the assistant coaches, as to what we are doing. The integration of our strength and conditioning program with the medical staff and training team is a factor. It also involves how the team practices. It all fits together. It’s never one thing. Coach Kelly is also pretty good at closing teams out.”

On what Camp Kelly is and what should the players be ready for:
“Almost everything we do in our program has to do with winning. We try to stay very skill specific in what we do. But there is always a component – and Camp Kelly is that component – of learning to operate when you are extremely uncomfortable. Learning to trust that your teammate and the guy you are going to line up next to is also able to operate when he’s extremely stressed and uncomfortable. Camp Kelly is a time where we can test them individually and as a group. It’s a team building type thing.”

On when the workouts start for the team:
“They will start Thursday. We will go five days a week and use up every minute of the allowable eight hours to help us get ready for the 2010 season. It will be here before you know it. There’s no time to waste.”

On his immediate plans:
“We want to get a read on where we are. We haven’t done much for six weeks and there are a lot of teams out there that have been playing. Sometimes you forget that there are 85 guys on the team and of that group approximately 55 played last year. Generally speaking, that’s the average. So you might have around 30 guys who would be on what we term our ‘developmental squad.’ They need to get going. The veterans need to get going. We need to hit the ground running and that’s what we’ll do starting Thursday at 6:30 a.m.”