In the off-season the Hoosiers made a couple of staff changes at defensive coordinator and defensive line coach that got a great deal of attention, but there was also a change at another crucial position with the hiring of a new Strength & Conditioning Coach. Keith Caton was hired from Baylor to be the new strength coach for the IU program.
Q - Talk about how you feel the summer workouts went for the players.
Coach Caton: The guys have done a great job. Like I said when I first got here, they’re a bunch of hard working guys. The intensity and the enthusiasm has just got better and better week by week during the summer. You can really see such a great finish with them. They worked this summer and had a great summer and improved a ton.
Q - When you came in how much did you change the way the team went about doing strength and conditioning from what they were used to?
Coach Caton: When I came in those guys were in great shape and they were strong. We made some tweaks and adjustments, and we talked to the offensive and defensive staff and Coach (Kevin) Wilson to see what they need and where they wanted to go. We just wanted to make sure they were running fast and recovering. We also worked with the nutrition staff to make sure the guys were eating right and doing things consistently.
Q - With the change in defense from a 3-4 to a 4-man front did that force you to have to change the bodies of some of the defensive players?
Coach Caton: It is great having Coach (Tom) Allen and Coach (Mark) Hagen here. They have done a great job in getting our defense right. We do things more by player so we sat down and talked about every single player. Some guys needed to gain and some guys needed to lose so it just kind of depended on the player. Schemes are great but you have to listen to the coach to see how a guy fits into the system.
Q - Talk about how the freshmen who arrived this summer adjusted to being in a college strength and conditioning program for the first time.
Coach Caton: What we with them is they would come in and run in the mornings, and then we had just a lifting group with those guys in the afternoon. That way it is a small group session and we can tech form and technique to make sure they’re doing things the right way and they’re detailed and those types of things. The goal is to get them bigger, faster, stronger. They’re transition was good and you could see them getting better week by week. We started off real light with the weights, but then by the end of the summer they were moving some pretty good weights and getting technique dialed in. So it was a good summer for those guys.
Q - With the season getting underway how does that change the routine the players have in the weight room?
Coach Caton: The main thing is the main thing and they’ve got to get out there and play football and we’ve got to win some games. But we’ll use the weight room and the conditioning and all that stuff for maintaining strength, but some guys can get stronger during the season. I have seen some guys get really strong in season, especially guys that aren’t playing as much. We won’t be testing out and maxing out and those types of things, but we’ll still be lifting fast and we’ll still be lifting explosive. We’ve got to make sure we keep our strength so that at the end of the season we can compete and finish in November and December.
Q - How excited are you to be in the Big Ten Conference and to get the opportunity to travel to some of the most historic stadiums in college football?
Coach Caton: I have seen one or two of them before, but I am real excited to be here. Seeing some new places and competing against those teams and doing what we’re supposed to do is going to be great. It is cool to be in a new league and I’m glad I’m here.
Q - Away from football how has the first seven or so months gone for you and your family in Bloomington?
Coach Caton: I was without the family from January until the beginning of the summer. They stayed back in Texas because they had to finish up school and some sporting stuff and all that. Finally got all of them here at the beginning of the summer and we bought a house and we had to get the kids a new puppy because we got a new house. I feel more like myself having my family up here with me. I’ve got my wife Adriene, and three kids, Kade, Weslie and Kole. Having them up here with me and being back in that routine of being a dad again instead of just being able to call or facetime them has made it a whole lot better.