A world leader in his field for more than three decades, Dave Ellis has been hired as the director of performance nutrition for the Nebraska athletic department.
Ellis started Nebraska’s nutrition department in 1994. He served for eight years as the Huskers’ director of performance nutrition, providing a key component in Nebraska’s run to three national championships in football in that period.
As director, Ellis will play an integral role in the development and implementation of sports nutrition services for all student-athletes to optimize health and performance.
Ellis will direct the nutrition efforts of the Husker football team on a daily basis, while overseeing a team that will coordinate nutrition services and education for all 24 of Nebraska’s sports.
“Dave Ellis is the leading professional in the sports performance nutrition field, and will be a great asset to Nebraska athletics,” football coach Scott Frost said. “Fueling our student-athletes correctly on a daily basis will be a key part of our success, not only in the football program, but across all of our sports. Nebraska is committed to being a leader in this area and having Dave on staff ensures that will be the case.”
Before becoming the first full-time nutritionist at Nebraska, Ellis first served the Huskers as a certified strength and conditioning coach during his undergraduate work in Lincoln.
He returned to Nebraska in 1994 after a successful stint at Wisconsin, where he created a multi-sport training table for athletics.
“Out-working the competition with the power of a solid nutrition plan is what high performance fueling is all about,” Ellis said. “We set the bar in this space during the Osborne era and now we will set it again in the Frost era. This is an opportunity to bring all of my key learnings from working 35-plus years in sports to the table for the welfare of our student-athletes.”
Since leaving the Nebraska staff following the 2001 football season, Ellis has been the pre-eminent consultant in the sports nutrition industry in the United States.
Through his company Sports Alliance Inc., Ellis has served as a consultant to teams at all levels in several sports.
In 2016, Ellis accepted a consulting position with Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. In the position, Ellis managed the fueling related policies of the most recent MLB/PA Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Ellis grew up in Omaha and is a Burke High graduate. He received his undergraduate degree in human nutrition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1988, and returned to the same college to complete his graduate work necessary to become a registered dietitian in 2000.