IU looking for new strength and conditioning coach

Indiana football coach Tom Allen now has two staff positions to fill in the coming weeks.

Keith Caton, IU’s strength and conditioning coach for the past two seasons, is no longer with the program, an Indiana spokesman confirmed Friday. Caton was hired by former coach Kevin Wilson in January 2016 and, in the meantime, led IU’s efforts in the weight room and in other pursuits behind the scenes.

The strength and conditioning position is the second opening Allen will move to fill in short order. In April, the NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved a proposal to allow a 10th assistant coaching position, effective Jan. 9, 2018.

Caton came to IU from Baylor, where he spent four years on the Bears’ strength staff. He replaced Mark Hill, who left Indiana after five seasons in early 2016 to take a similar position at Kentucky.

The job of strength and conditioning coach in college football has evolved into a valuable, visible role in recent years. Although head coaches and other on-field assistants are limited in their interactions with players during the off-season, strength coaches have more liberty to monitor and oversee workouts and conditioning programs. They often spend as much or more time with players than any coach on staff.

Caton had a base salary of $204,000 in 2017, according to The Herald-Times IU employee salary database.

“I would like to thank Keith Caton for his service to Indiana University and to our football program over the last two years,” Allen said in a statement. “I have a lot of respect for him as a husband and a father. Keith is a tremendous person and I wish him nothing but the very best moving forward.”

The process for bringing aboard Caton’s replacement should move quickly. The spring semester begins Monday, Jan. 8 on the Bloomington campus.

As for the 10th assistant, Allen wants a versatile coach who can invest time into recruiting, while also dedicating efforts toward on-field work, such as special teams. Allen indicated last week that the hiring process for the 10th assistant was close to being finalized.


  1. It has been reported that David Ballou is the new strength and conditioning coach. He was Notre Dame’s Co-Director of Strength and Conditioning for Football last year. Ballou was the strength coach at Avon (Ind.) High School; also a three-year letterwinner and fullback for IU graduated from IU in 2001 with a degree in kinesiology. It is good to get another Indiana connection on the staff along with him being an alum from IU. His limited experience [one year at ND] in the college ranks will be tested running IU’s strength and conditioning program but his background shows he knows the B1G and college game.

  2. Hired by Ohio State 1/16 ?. Why the delay, he have a 2-yr IU contract? Were the IU coaching staff aware of the hire? What other ‘Pursuits behind the scenes’ ? Kind of weird ?

    1. ???????? Hired by IU in January 2016 under a two year contract that apparently isn’t being renewed for whatever reason.

  3. IU to get 3 star GT linebacker transfer to play in 2019 season. I guess that is a positive. Dad is a coach.

    1. Cool. He had 15 tackles, 2 assists, and 2 sacks on the season.

      His dad has been around big time programs forever.

      Sounds like a good pickup.

  4. I tried reading between the lines to determine if this was Caton’s idea or Allen’s idea. If it was Caton’s idea, that would feed the narrative that IU continues to have trouble keeping good assistant coaches. Undesired and premature staff turnover is never good for any organization. But if it was Allen’s idea, then it suggests Allen sees this as an opportunity to upgrade this important position. I remember being impressed when we got Caton from Baylor. At the time, Baylor was a top-ten football program, and then the head coach blew himself and his program up by some highly stupid and unethical behavior.

    1. Baylor was a top to bottom mess from all reports.

      Considering what went down with their basketball program (including a murder) not very long ago you’d think they would have exercised a bit more ‘institutional control’.

        1. Yeah, the basketbal mess. Can’t blame him for what’s going on now. I wonder how many people were around for both of those grease fires?

    2. Yeah, I am guessing it was Allen’s idea. If it was Caton’s then they usually report where he is going. This case no info on that.

  5. T.D. Roof will have three years of eligibility left after sitting out the 2018 season. His father is taking the DC job at NC State. I like that as a freshman playing for a power-five conference program, he got some significant experience. Good get for Allen.

  6. Hope IU’s new coach comes from either Texas or California. He could help improve recruiting by opening IU up to kids in either of those talent-rich states.

    1. That’s such a big part of the job description anymore. If a guy hasn’t shown the ability to to be a closer he’s not going to get that second interview.

      It’s also the reason a lot of guys want to coach in the pros. No recruiting duties.

  7. Pluck a S&C up and comer from Georgia, OK St., Wis., MSU, or wherever can be found a young competent mentor to make his brand happen in Bloomington. My own personal thought w/o knowing anything privy is Caton did a damn good job putting muscle on young athletes. But undoubtedly something has gone awry. Good luck to him.

  8. I agree Clarion. The tough part is that we lose them when they are successful. They get offers to make almost as much as Allen as an assistant at a big time school.

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