Dave Ellis, RD, CSCS • Veteran Sports Dietitian (Sports RD) • University of Nebraska Director of Performance Nutrition • 719-502-1276
-Aug. '18 I accepted a position to return to Nebraska where I got my start working in athletics 37 years earlier! Talk about coming full circle! I consider it an honor to get back to my athletic roots at a time when they need help returning to the consistent winning program that emerged during the Tom Osborne era. That kind of consistency is what many a program have tried and in some cases, successfully replicated since Tom retired as the head football coach. Now it's time for the Scott Frost era to begin and when we are successful, we will have accomplished a very important mission. We will have cemented Dr. Tom's winning legacy, just like Tom did for Bob Devaney before him. Now that is a mission I can pour my soul into, that and helping our student athletes grow and achieve to their potential over the course of their years with us at Nebraska.
-Dec. '16 I accepted a consulting position with Major League Baseball and MLB Players Assn. as the Consulting Sports RD. It's a one of a kind position in sports to manage the fueling related policies of the latest MLB/PA Collective Bargaining Agreement. My skill sets in the food and supplement security space are put to the test daily in this new role. This position demands that I add to my GMP and FSMA training annually and track closely with the anti-doping community. This position precludes my ability to consult with dietary supplement companies to avoid any conflicts of interest with reviews of products on behalf of MLB/PA. MLB/PA have asked me to continue advising them while I am at Nebraska, but I have let all my other consulting relationships go to focus on the task at hand in Lincoln NE.
-Since 2001 I have been flying around the US consulting to a pretty remarkable list of teams at all levels of sport. For the details on that adventure, you can flip through the other pages on this bio website. My goal as a consultant has always been to help expand the vision of value for a full-time Sports RD of which I have placed many with my clients. My current role with MLB/PA still allows me the latitude to work with teams, just not individual MLB teams. My consulting firm is called Sports Alliance Inc. and I own a few trademarks like Fueling Tactics®, Sports Nutrition You Can Trust®, Sports Alliance Inc.®, Making Food Coachable For Over 30 Years!™
-Starting in '82 I got a job working for Nebraska athletics as a freshman in college on the strength side of the operation because I was studying dietetics. Sixteen years with Nebraska athletics and four with Wisconsin athletics. Working for Tom Osborne Ph.D. (Dr. Tom) was the highlight of my 20 years working in the collegiate ranks. Tom was single handily the reason I had a chance to transition to a full-time nutrition role in '94, another first for sports here in the US. Dr. Tom got the value of fueling his athletes long before the rest of head football coaches. I can't say enough about Tom's influence on my career. We all went to work every day with the goal of not letting Dr. Tom down. He was a High-Performance Director before we had a name for them!
-I routinely spend a couple of hours per day tracking research in the High-Performance fueling space. It's a genuine curiosity for the ever changing landscape of research that impacts our best practices in sports and what drives my daily quest to make sense of a field that thrives on forward based conjecture. I probably attend 5-6 conferences per year to stay up on the research and to get to know the researchers themselves. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, get past what is published and get inside the heads of the researchers because what is published is old news. If you want to be a thought leader in your profession, wake up daily and seek the truth for what is best for the welfare of your athletes. To me. that is what defines an authentic stakeholder and leader in the field of athletics. Dr. Tom instilled that athlete centric focus in me to treat everyone on his roster equally and with respect.
-Sharing key learnings with my profession is something I am also passionate about. I am an advocate for the positive impact that full-time Sports RDs can deliver for a team and there is no school to develop the skill sets necessary to achieve in sports, but the school of hard knocks that we work in daily. That is why I help found and served as the first President of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Assn. (CPSDA) back in '10. We needed to cultivate real-life exposures for aspiring Sports RDs so they could understand what they were getting into and the kind of resilience required to achieve in a competitive environment. The flexibility I had as a consultant allowed me to pour my energy into ramping up CPSDA with the help of one paid Ops position and a nucleus of highly motivated volunteers. This young group's advocacy achievements are really amazing, but none greater than stimulating the NCAA to deregulate antiquated feeding rules for student-athletes back in '14. Today you will find CPSDA leadership at the policy table at every level of sports working to ensure athletes are fueled equitably and safely with conventional foods and dietary supplements that are free of banned substances and adulterants. As Dr. Tom always said, "be part of something bigger than yourself" and that is just what CPSDA volunteers do. We pay it forward daily and I still volunteer as one of the Ambassadors for CPSDA.
Ellis Resume Snapshot:
• Graduated Omaha Burke HS ‘81
• Strength Staff UNL Athletics ‘82
• First ACSM Meeting at Northland Regional Chapter ’85
• Graduated UNL ‘88
• NSCA & SCAN Member ’91-Present
• Strength Staff Wisconsin Athletics ’90-‘93
• Sports Nutrition Director UNL Athletics ’94-‘01
• NSCA CSCS ‘94
• ACSM Member ’96
• NE LMNT ‘96 –‘99
• UNL Grad School & Completed Dietetic Internship & RD ‘00
• UNL New Achiever Award ‘01
• Started Consulting Practice ’01-Present (Sports Alliance Inc.)
• Level 5 USA Hockey Coach ‘05
• USOC Doc Counsilman Award Finalist ‘06
• USA Hockey NTDP '07
• NSF International Advisor '08-'17
• UK Physiological Society Member ’10
• Egg Nutrition Center Advisor '10-'17
• JCSMS Membership '11
• CPSDA Trailblazer Award ‘13
• Endocrine Society Member ’14
• MLB DR Trip Nov. ’14
• MLB/PA Consulting Sports RD Dec. ’16 - Present
• American Physiological Assn. Member ’16
• GMP & FSMA Adulteration Certification '16
• US Anti-Doping Education '16
• USA Baseball '17
• NY Islanders Chief Consulting RD '17-'18
• Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA) “preventive 'controls qualified individual” Certification '17
• SafeSport Certification July '17
• Certified Professional - Food Safety (CP-FS) Credential '18
• Back to Nebraska Athletics Full-Time as Director of Performance Nutrition - Aug. '18
Volunteer / Advocacy Milestone Resume:
• Co-Founder & First President Lincoln Ice Skating Assn. ’88-‘90
• Co-Founder & Board Member Lincoln Ice Hockey Assn. ‘96
• Co-Founded and First President NSCA Nutrition Special Interest Group ’04-07
• First President & Founder of the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Assn. (CPSDA) ‘10-‘12
• CPSDA Past President & Current Ambassador, May ’13 - Present
• NCAA Feeding Deregulation Jan. ’14
• NCAA 30% Protein Deregulation Jan. ’17
• MLB/PA Mandate Every Team Sports RD April '17
• Taylor Hooton Foundation Board Aug. '17 - Present
Paid / Sponsored Advisor Disclosures:
Prior To Going Back To NE Full-Time: US Anti-Doping, USA Hockey National Team Development Program & Coaching Education, USA Baseball Pipeline Development Program & Education, MLB Strength Coaches Society (PBSCCS), Frequent Speaker Honorariums.
Post NE Full-Time: At MLB/PA's Request I will continue to advise them on Fueling related Policies and Food and Supplement Security Issues.
2017 Milestones & Family:
• 35th Year Of Work In Athletics
• Celebrated 30th Wedding Anniversary
• Turned 55 Years Old (03/30/62)
• Prior to taking the full-time job back at Nebraska Athletics my family and I lived in Colorado Springs CO since '04. My wife of 30 plus years, Delynn Sempek Ellis (Omaha Marian) is an editor for a stained glass magazine and stained glass artist. We have three children, Madelynn, AJ and Clark. Our youngest, Madelynn Ellis is testing the waters in athletics working for Amy Bragg the Director of Sports Nutrition at Bama. Madelynn is working on her undergraduate degree in human nutrition and psychology. Second oldest, AJ is doing his Masters in Architecture at MT State and oldest, Clark is wrapping up his degree in Educaiton at U. Northern CO.