Blue Devil of the Week: Lifting Up Duke Football Players

Noel Durfey supports student-athletes in-and-out of the weight room

Noel Durfey is the Associate Director of Sports Performance/Head Football Sports Performance Coach. Photo by Bryan Roth.
Noel Durfey is the Associate Director of Sports Performance/Head Football Sports Performance Coach. Photo by Bryan Roth.

“When I was younger I did some power lifting, and I still workout, but I’m 48 and enjoy lifting weights for the sake of lifting weights. Maybe it’s now more a psychological thing than anything, but I’ll never do heavy weights anymore. That was for 20 years ago. A long time ago I was told to never trust a strength coach that looks better than his players. If they look better, where are they spending their time?

At the beginning of every season, you’re trying to get kids acclimated to lifting weights again and getting them to increase their capacity. In the season, they’re only lifting twice a week, so we need to be sensitive to what they can handle. As a strength coach, you love the squat because it shows a player’s range of motion and mobility. Can they do the movement correctly? Can you see if they’re tight in their hips, knees or ankles? From there you can address what needs to be done to be successful in the weight room.

I get the best out of these kids every day because we care about them more than just being a football player. This isn’t work. It’s something I love to do. My day-to-day motivation is about trying to get them to be the best player and person they can be.”

Noel Durfey
Associate Director of Sports Performance/Head Football Sports Performance Coach
8 years at Duke