Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2024

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2024 7 BY TYLER HORKA L oren Landow had the same thought process as Riley Leonard — and Mar- cus Freeman, Sam Hartman, etc., all the way down to graduate students and walk- ons — when it hit him he may soon call South Bend home. "When I heard about the opening, my agent asked me, 'Is this something you want?'" Landow said on Feb. 2. "I said, 'It's Notre Dame. How could you not?' "I've been fortunate to do a lot of great things in my career, but to ultimately be a part of a program that has history and the legacy that Notre Dame does, it was a no-brainer." Landow has a legacy of his own. In the context of strength and conditioning, it's as extensive as any. And it's an outside-the-box list of accolades that constitutes it, too, making him a good fit at a place like Notre Dame — an institution that has long gone against the grain of the way things are normally executed in collegiate athletics. Landow was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Denver Bron- cos from 2018-23, a standard title and destination for someone in his profession. He left that post when a new staff was ushered in with coach Sean Payton ahead of the 2023 season. Instead of jumping to a new franchise or college program, Landow spent all of last year directing Landow Performance, his own training facility, in Centennial, Colo. He instructs all kinds of athletes there, from professionals of the NFL, NHL, MLB, UFC and WNBA to Olympic competitors. Landow called the last 10 months with them his reestablishment of the North Star. His certifications in sports rehabilita- tion and medicine and experience as a consultant for U.S. National Teams for women's soccer, bobsled and swimming, as well as pro sports teams like the Texas Rangers and Carolina Panthers, make him a popular name for athletes to turn to on their own. During the 2011 lockout, Landow privately worked with 60 NFL players. It's the personal relationships Landow has fostered through individual training at his facility that make his reputation so intriguing. Former Notre Dame offensive lineman Ryan Harris was a Landow client. So was Harris' Denver Broncos teammate and one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Peyton Manning. That was before Landow joined the Broncos' staff. San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, a Castle Rock, Colo, native, has been a Landow disciple since he was 8. He leaned heavily on his training mentor ahead of the 2017 NFL Draft, us- ing Landow's mock NFL combine in early February to prepare him for the real event later that month. He was selected with the eighth overall pick. The game's best trust Landow. He ad- mitted he arrives at Notre Dame with in- stant credibility because of it. But he also said it doesn't matter what he's done — and who he's done it with — previously. What he does with the Irish moving for- ward is all that matters. "I told them, 'I haven't done anything to you or for you,'" Landow said. "It's been a great experience with those athletes. But today is now. And so for me, it's important that they get this version of me, and I'm not living on my past." So far, so good on that front. Teenage freshmen to 30-year-old graduate stu- dents heaped praise on Landow for the way he conducted the first few weeks of Notre Dame's offseason training program. "He's unbelievable," freshman quarter- back CJ Carr said. "We came in not really knowing what to expect with him. But the things he's putting us through out there, I'm confident that my body's going to change. Everyone else's body is going to change for the better. He's going to get us as strong, fast and quick as we can get." "Coach Landow is bringing a re- ally good intensity and intentional- ity to how we're working," graduate student kicker Eric Goins, 30, said. Intentionality is required in this field. Without it, nothing would ever get done. Head coaches can lose a locker room. Strength coaches can lose a weight room. Both are equally important to avoid. "I have to make sure that I'm consis- tent in my message," Landow said. "These athletes don't want to see this and that, they want to see that I can be consistent. I think that's No. 1, how you build trust. "And No. 2 is you connect with every- body. I'm not just sitting here talking to a couple guys who are the starter of this or the starter of that. It's the ability to connect with everybody and give every- body constructive criticism, constructive coaching." That has not gone unnoticed so far. "He's all about the team and his play- ers and his staff," freshman running back Kedren Young said. "He's always wanting us to get better every day, whether it's him showing love, whether that's him on your butt. He wants everybody to get better." ✦ UNDER THE DOME EARNING TRUST Loren Landow aims to build strong new legacy with Irish via individual training focus Landow, the new Notre Dame strength and condi- tioning coach, has an extensive history working with some of the best players in the NFL, past and present. PHOTO BY KYLE KELLY

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