LEWISBURG, Pa. – Jake Flaherty, a 2014 Bucknell graduate and a former wide receiver with the Bison football team, has returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach. Flaherty will work with the Bucknell running backs while also serving as the assistant recruiting coordinator.
“We are fortunate to welcome Jake Flaherty back to Bucknell,” said head coach Joe Susan. “Jake will be a positive role model and mentor for the student-athletes on our team. He has an excellent football IQ and will be an outstanding addition to our staff. Being a Bucknell graduate will help him as he works with the young men on our team and the players he will recruit. Jake can provide a unique and passionate perspective on this special place. We are excited to have him back.”
Flaherty first joined the Bison football program as a student-athlete in 2010, the same year that Joe Susan took over as head coach. Flaherty persevered through four major knee injuries throughout his career, receiving the 2012 Bobby Pangburn Memorial Award, given to the player who possesses “commitment, dedication and unqualified friendship” to the program, and the 2013 Moxie Award for “special contributions to the Bucknell football program.”
Flaherty was on the way to a big junior year, as he led the team with 23 receptions for 228 yards and a touchdown through six games, before suffering his fourth ACL injury. A double-major in history and religion, he served as a student assistant coach as a senior in 2013, when he was unable to play due to the injury.
Flaherty's coaching career began the summer before his senior year at Bucknell, when he worked as a training camp coaching intern with the Dallas Cowboys. He worked closely with the Cowboys' wide receivers, helped break down film and created playbook and statistical analysis forms. During the preseason games, he charted plays for the wide receivers and linebackers.
After graduation, Flaherty headed to Montana State University as an offensive quality control analyst. He worked under offensive coordinator Tim Cramsey and was involved with an offense that ranked in the top 10 in nearly every Football Championship Subdivision statistical category.
A year later, Flaherty went south to the University of Miami, where he served as a graduate assistant coach working with the wide receivers and tight ends. A year ago, he worked closely with wideout Ahmmon Richards, a Freshman All-American who broke the Miami freshman record for receiving yards, and Stacy Coley, who ranked second in school history in career receptions.
In the area of recruiting, Flaherty assisted with on-campus visits, contacted recruits via social media and advance-evaluated prospects from the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
In December 2016, Flaherty received a Master of Arts & Liberal Studies degree from Miami with a 3.81 grade-point average.
Flaherty comes from a prominent football family. His father, Harry, played linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Bandits (USFL). His grandfather, Jim Garrett, was a longtime NFL scout and assistant coach. His uncle, Jason Garrett, is a former NFL quarterback and currently the Cowboys' head coach. His uncle, John Garrett, played wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and was recently named head coach at Lafayette. Another uncle, Judd Garrett, is the Cowboys' director of pro scouting. Jake's brother, Harry Jr., played tight end at Princeton from 2007-10, and his cousin, Andrew Rodriguez, was a linebacker at Army and won the AAU's James E. Sullivan Award, given to the nation's top amateur athlete.
In returning to Bucknell, Flaherty will have an opportunity to work with an outstanding group of running backs. Rising senior Joey DeFloria last year became the eighth different player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season when he ran for 1,070 in only 10 games. Rookie Chad Freshnock tallied another 604 yards on the ground, and DeFloria and Freshnock both recorded 10 rushing touchdowns.
The Bison open preseason camp on July 31 in preparation for the Sept. 2 season opener against Marist at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.
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