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Bucknell Introduces Joe Susan as New Football Coach
LEWISBURG - Joe Susan told the Bucknell community in a 1991 school newspaper editorial that he hoped to see them again soon. While it took nearly 20 years, the wait is finally over for the former Bison assistant football coach.
Susan, 54, was introduced as Bucknell’s 26th head football coach on Wednesday night prior to the men’s basketball game in Sojka Pavilion.
“Ninety-one to 2010, it didn’t happen quick, but it happened nonetheless,” said Susan. “It’s great to be back home.”
Susan replaces Tim Landis, who resigned Christmas Eve after seven seasons to become an assistant coach at San Jose State.
Susan returns to Bucknell after coaching the Bison from 1981-89 when he handled the offensive line. In 1989, he added the title assistant head coach under Lou Maranzana.
“I have a passion for this place and it’s great to be back amongst friends and I’m excited to get started,” he said.
The 1977 Delaware graduate spent the past nine years as an assistant at Rutgers under Greg Schiano. Schiano played at Bucknell in the 1980s and was recruited to the Lewisburg campus by Susan.
Schiano and Susan spent Wednesday morning in a helicopter and both men knew it was time for an audible.
“While I’m sad to be losing such a valuable member of my coaching staff, I couldn’t be happier for Joe Susan and my alma mater,” said Schiano in a released statement. “Ever since Joe recruited me to play at Bucknell, the university has held a special place in both our hearts. The Bison football family can rally behind this remarkable leader who will bring integrity, passion, and vision to the Bucknell football program.”
Susan’s first priorities include recruiting, assembling a coaching staff and an introduction to the returning players, which he did prior to Wednesday night’s press conference.
“Those are going to be the kids that are going to win games for us next year,” said Susan. “Getting to know them and getting to trust them and getting them to trust me doesn’t happen overnight with those kids.”
He commended the staff for the job done recruiting thus far and he hopes to make contacts with those recruits soon. He will also be in contact with the current coaching staff over the next several days before making conclusions on their futures.
Susan brings one year of head coaching experience. He led Davidson to an undefeated season (10-0) in 2000. One of his hires at Davidson was current Lycoming coach Mike Clark, with whom Susan says he still remains in close contact.
Schiano and family matters lured the coach from his first head coaching job after just one season. Rutgers offered a chance to coach at the FBS level and an opportunity to work with a close friend. It also allowed his children to return to the school district where they left just a year prior.
Susan spent nine years at Rutgers and the decision to leave was an agonizing one, but the chance to be a head coach again and a passion for Bucknell ultimately won out.
Bucknell finished 4-7 last year and has not had a winning season since 2006. The Bison’s last Patriot League championship came in 1996.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to complete in the Patriot League and put my signature on this program,” said Susan.
He’s excited for one more thing, too.
“I’ll be able to tell myself when to go home at night.”
Bucknell introduces Joe Susan as new football coach
By JAKE FELIX, The Willamsport Sun-Gazette