By Kieran Shannon
Munster have appointed an America Football coach as their new Head of Athletic Performance.
New York native Denis Logan will leave the NFL to join the Province in May.
Denis Logan, an S&C assistant with the Cleveland Browns, was offered the position which became vacant last month following Aled Walters’ decision to join Rassie Erasmus in South Africa.
Logan becomes the fifth consecutive non-Irish person to hold the position, following in the footsteps of Welsh-native Walters, Australians Adam Trypas and Bryce Kavanagh, and the late Paul Darbyshire, from Warrington, England.
Logan, a native of Elmont, New York, has previously worked for 10 years with EXOS, formerly known as Athlete’s Performance, a multi-sport performance institute in the US where he would have worked with the IRFU’s current head of athletic performance and science, Nick Winkelman, a fellow American.
Winkelman, along with van Graan and team manager Niall O’Donovan, recently interviewed numerous candidates, including three leading members of the incumbent S&C staff: The long-serving Aidan O’Connell, former Dolphin player and current Irish U18s head S&C coach Adam Sheehan, and Fermoy native PJ Wilson, who has worked in the Munster setup since 2011.
Speaking about Logan's appointment, van Graan said they were delighted with the new addition.
It is understood no Irish candidate even made the shortlist of three. A couple of southern hemisphere candidates with rugby experience were in the running before the committee opted for Logan.
Appointment | Denis Logan will join the province at the beginning of May as Head of Athletic Performance.March 23, 2018
The three-year position will not be assumed until after the end of this season, with its various duties being undertaken by the existing senior team S&C staff.
Eyebrows have been raised within the setup, as well as Irish rugby high-performance circles, that the committee opted for a candidate with no institutional or rugby-specific knowledge.