Another day, another familiar face returning to Lincoln.
Dave Ellis, a longtime employee in the strength and conditioning department and more recently a sports-related consultant, was named the Nebraska athletic department's director of performance nutrition on Friday.
Ellis worked for Nebraska throughout the 1980s before spending about four years at the University of Wisconsin. He returned to Nebraska in 1994 and started the school's original nutrition department before entering private practice in 2001.
Ellis now joins NU once again after working as the president of Sports Alliance Inc., a private consulting company that works with college and professional sports programs.
“Outworking the competition with the power of a solid nutrition plan is what high performance fueling is all about,” Ellis said in a statement. “We set the bar in this space during the Osborne era and now we will set it again in the Frost era. This is an opportunity to bring all of my key learnings from working 35-plus years in sports to the table for the welfare of our student-athletes.”
Ellis is often credited, along with Boyd Epley and others, for helping establish Nebraska football's strength and conditioning department as among the nation's best.
He has already been working with the football program in a consulting role since head coach Scott Frost and head strength coach Zach Duval were hired in December.
In a March interview on 1620 AM The Zone in Omaha, Duval said the following about Ellis:
“He’s looking at 18 key different measurements — circumferences, depths, the whole nine yards — and … we always use the car analogy, so what type of an engine can this frame carry to move fastest? Because speed kills. The cool thing about the human body is our engines are our muscles, it’s not our skeletal system. For us, we can change or overhaul the engine very rapidly via the (metabolic) circuit, via XYZ things we do that I’m not going to give away. We can add muscle on.
“Now, the key is, where does it go? Does it need to be upstairs? Does it need to be downstairs? Front side? Back side? Where does this lean muscle mass need to go in order for this guy to be really, really, really fast or quick or have a really powerful first step? Dave gives us all that data and there’s no one better at it, period.”
Ellis is now tasked with running a department-wide program that all student-athletes have access to, but the school said he will be working with the football program on a day-to-day basis.
“Dave Ellis is the leading professional in the sports performance nutrition field, and will be a great asset to Nebraska Athletics,” Frost said in a statement. “Fueling our student-athletes correctly on a daily basis will be a key part of our success, not only in the football program, but across all of our sports. Nebraska is committed to being a leader in this area and having Dave on staff ensures that will be the case.”