The Man Behind the Scenes

CN's Luke Vander Sanden recently had the chance to sit down with Iowa State Football's strength and conditioning coach Matt McGettigan. Coach "Getty" coached Luke for years and a solid relationship was develolped between the two. Here, in this CN feature, find out what "Getty" had to say in a converstaion with one of his former players.

Coach Getty is definitely a guy that I have always looked up to, and I will continue to do so in the future. I was able to talk to him about summer workouts, his path to Iowa State and about some of his thoughts on ISU Football. 


So sit back, enjoy, and listen to why Coach Getty is one of the biggest factors in bringing success to Iowa State Football.


Tell us about the different stops that you took before landing at ISU as the strength and conditioning coach at Iowa State.


-Coach McGettigan played football for the Luther Norse, which is a Division III school in Decorah, Iowa.  Getty played tight end for the Norse.  Once he finished his degree and playing days at Luther, Getty went to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where he served as a graduate assistant. He helped start the strength and conditioning program while at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.  Coach McGettigan then moved on to Norte Dame where he served as an assistant strength coach from 1990-1995.  Following his stint there, he chose to take over the head strength and conditioning job at Iowa State, and has been there ever since.


With the importance of summer workouts, tell us about the guys with you this summer.


-Coach McGettigan informed me that there are about 100 guys or so working out with him this summer.  This includes about 80 veterans, and 20 newcomers that will be freshmen in the fall.  He mentioned that for every workout group, there are guys selected as position leaders that have earned leadership status.  These guys take care of discipline, are the backbone of their respective workout groups, and set the bar for their workout group.  Some group leaders Getty mentioned were Aaron Brant, Scott Stephenson, Seth Zehr, Bret Meyer, Austin Flynn, Todd Blythe, Curtis Taylor, Alvin Bowen, Tyrone McKenzie, Adam Carper, Ryan Kock, and DeAndre Jackson.  Coach Getty said the team, as a whole, is having a tremendous summer with workouts.  Some guys he mentioned for really having a great summer were DeAndre Jackson, Austin Flynn, Brent Curvey, Bastain Shober, Scott Stephenson, Todd Blythe, and Aaron Brant.


Talk about the importance of participating in the summer workouts prior to the fall of athletic season.


-Coach Getty talked to me about the importance of coming and working out with the team the summer prior to the fall of athletic competition.  As a former player, I chose to come up the summer before my freshman year of college and see a lot of the same things that Coach McGettigan pointed out to me.  McGettigan talked about a lot of keys that players benefit from by choosing to join the team during the summer. These include athletes gaining an understanding of how to balance weight training, players learning about their work capacity and the ability to perform under that, the ability to become physically prepared for the grind of two-a-day practices, and allowing the strength staff to target areas of weakness.  Coach Getty mentioned that the area of muscle development they target with most newcomers is the lower body, most importantly the glutes and hamstrings.  Coach also mentioned that participating in summer workouts allows the newcomer to get acclimated with the strength staff's expectations, their future teammates' work ethic, and the basic idea of how the program operates.  Finally, coming early allows for a smoother transition into being a student-athlete, and allows for the actual coaching of technique for the different lifting exercises. 


Talk about the most important things that you want to accomplish this summer with your players on campus.


-Getty talked to me about ISU Strength Staff's mission.


1. Reducing Injuries.  Coach McGettigan said his strength staff's program aims to make you a better athlete, not a better football player.


2. Develop a work ethic.  The ability to be disciplined, have a working relationship between his staff and his players, and transfer all the strength and conditioning gains to the practice field and game field.


Talk with CN about the structure of day-to-day workouts during the summer.


Monday- The workout group starts their workout with a lateral speed and agility movement, followed by a heavy lower body lift.


Tuesday- The workout group starts their workout with a heavy upper body lift, followed by a forward/backward running workout.


Wednesday- Players are off


Thursday- The workout group starts their workout with a linear acceleration workout, followed by a lower body workout, focusing on speed squats.


Friday- The workout group starts their workout with a heavy upper body lift, followed by a conditioning workout.


How gratifying is it to transform a young 18-year old into a man in the 4-5 years they are with you?


-Coach McGettigan talked to me about how he really likes coaching at the college level.  He said he likes to see the impact physically and mentally that his strength staff can have on players, and seeing how far guys can improve.  Coach McGettigan likes seeing how he can develop the young man as an athlete and person, and have a huge impact.  I can second that.  To this day, as a former ISU player, Coach McGettigan and his staff have had one of the greatest impacts on me!  I talked with Coach McGettigan about all the NFL strength coaching opportunities.  He mentioned how he will stay at the college level because as a NFL strength coach you don't develop as much rapport or contact with their players.  About 50 weeks of a college football player's time is spent with the strength staff. 


In conclusion, what does ISU Football mean to Coach McGettigan?


Coach McGettigan told me that he takes great pride in what and how they do things at Iowa State.  He firmly believes that what they do is the cutting edge of how things are done.  He takes pride in his player's work ethic, and he will put it second to none.  Lastly, he told me he takes a tremendous amount of pride in where ISU was when he first got there, and to where it is now. 


Coach McGettigan, Chris Ruff, and the rest of his strength staff are truly a huge part of the success behind Iowa State Football.  Everyone's hat should go off to them for the development of players, and getting them physically and mentally ready to take the field on "College Football Saturday." 


Thanks to Coach McGettigan for his time, and thanks for listening.

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