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Familiar Face Returns to Bucknell Football
LEWISBURG — A familiar face will be patrolling the sidelines for the Bucknell football team in 2010.
Joe Susan was named the head football coach on Wednesday, becoming the 26th head coach in the program’s history. He replaces Tim Landis, who departed for a job at San Jose State in late December.
“It is just a wonderful and exciting moment for the Bison football program,” director of athletic communications Jon Terry said as he introduced Susan.
Susan returns to Bucknell after spending the last nine years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Rutgers.
“It’s great to be back home,” Susan said. “The familiarity I have here and my ties here made it easier to come back. I have a passion for this place and I’m excited to get going.”
John Hardt, director of athletics and recreation at Bucknell, was able to lure Susan back to his old stomping grounds.
“I am thrilled for our student-athletes and football program to be able to welcome Joe Susan and his family back to Bucknell,” Hardt said. “I know he is eager to get to work, and everyone associated with Bison athletics is looking forward to welcoming him back to campus.”
Susan joined the Rutgers staff in 2001 after one year as head coach at Davidson, where he led the Wildcats to a 10-0 mark and earned Sports Information Directors Association coach of the year honors. Prior to that, Susan served a brief stint as offensive line coach at Memphis and nine seasons as offensive coordinator at Princeton.
From 1981-1988, Susan served as offensive coach at Bucknell, a tenure that included two seasons as associate head coach. While at Bucknell, Susan recruited Greg Schiano — now Rutgers’ head coach — to play for the Bison. Susan’s coaching career began in 1978 at Delaware as a graduate assistant, which was followed up by a year as an assistant at Gettysburg, before Susan returned to Delaware for a position as an assistant. Susan played four years at Delaware.
Due to the timing of his hire, Susan will have to get on the recruiting trail immediately. His plans are to first reach out to the current players on the Bison squad.
“I plan on catching up with the kids who are on campus now and getting to know them,” he said. “I want them to be able to trust me and I want to trust them.”
With his strong recruiting background in Division I, Susan should be able to land high-profile players from around the country. Susan said he has recruits who committed to Rutgers contact him about attending Bucknell instead.
“I have many relationships and have gotten calls from parents asking about the possibility of their kids coming to Bucknell,” he said. “I consider that a privilege when someone has that much trust in me with their child.”
Susan said he had the praise of Schiano.
“I was in a helicopter with Greg yesterday, and I think we both knew what was going to happen,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to be able to tell myself when to go home.”
Susan to lead Bison
By Chris Dougherty, The Milton Standard-Journal (PA)