Today, it is inconceivable for a professional or even small college sports team to go without a coach designated to enhancing conditioning, strength training, and overall performance.
But someone had to be first
In 1976, the Dallas Cowboys and Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Tom Landry hired Dr. Bob Ward, and told him to go to work. Part of the aura of the Dallas Cowboys was to be ahead of the curve, which made hiring Ward a natural step forward.
No one could have predicted that Ward would become the key figure in revolutionizing how athletes prepare and train for generations to come.
Ward believed in analytics long before Moneyball made them synonymous with sports. He saw the value in computers and technology in sports before the two became linked.
Born on the Fourth of July to a home of modest means, Ward is a self-made American success story who forever changed the game of football as we know it.
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About the Author
Dr. Bob Ward was born on the Fourth of July, the son of a World War I veteran. He came from modest means, a self-made man who eventually became one of the most important players in the evolution of professional sports. Ward earned his Doctor of Physical Education from Indiana University and studied sports science at its infancy with the U.S. Olympic team. He took that education and went on to implement it with the Dallas Cowboys in the mid-1970s, where he joined Tom Landry's coaching staff as the NFL's first full-time conditioning coach.
Mac Engel is a sports columnist with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He has written two books: Tony Romo: America's Next Quarterback and Texas Stadium: America's Home Field. He has covered the Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars, Dallas Mavericks, and Dallas Cowboys as well as multiple Super Bowls, Olympics, NBA Finals, Rose Bowls, and college football championships. Engel has served as an adjunct professor of journalism at Texas Christian University's Schieffer School of Journalism and currently serves as an on-air personality and contributor to CBS KRLD The Fan in Dallas.