Building The Perfect Star
Changing the Trajectory of Sports and the People in Them
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. Ward believes real strength is total, "Every component is involved in human performance. Strength alone is not enough."
Dr. Bob Ward was born on the Fourth of July, the son of a World War I veteran. He came from modest means, even living with his three siblings in a sort of orphanage at the age of six. Ward became a self-made man and one of the most important players in the evolution of professional sports. A former small college All-American, Ward learned by doing. He trained. He played. He coached.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-70s where he joined Tom Landry’s coaching staff as the NFL’s first full-time conditioning coach. While activities such as yoga, CrossFit, and martial arts are now common, Ward was already implementing these programs with pro athletes and would revolutionize the way that athletes prepared and trained.Ward believed in analytics long before it became a part of sports vernacular. His ideas studying and analyzing athletes and movement completely changed the way individuals trained and prepared in sports. What strength and performance coaches, and the athletes themselves, do today to prepare can be traced back to Dr. Bob Ward.Ward is active in various sports networks and strength and conditioning research organizations, in addition to his experience working with yourth and professional athletes during his career. He is known for his work with the Sports Science Network and continues to promote his teachings today.Mac Engel is a sports columnist with the Forth 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.His blog, "The Big Mac Blog," was named the Best Blog in Texas according to the Associated Press in 2012. It finished third in 2014.Engel has served as an adjunct professor of journalism at TCU Schieffer School of Journalism and currently serves as an on-air personality and contributor to CBS KRLD The Fan in Dallas.Randy White is one of the most decorated players in the long and distinguished history of the Dallas Cowboys. A star defensive lineman at the University of Maryland in the early 1970s, he made an immediate impact upon joining the Cowboys in 1975. His career went on to include nine Pro Bowl selections, nine first-team All-Pro selections, a Super Bowl championship, a Super Bowl MVP award, and selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.