Joe Susan Named Head Football Coach at Bucknell
Jan. 27, 2010
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Following a comprehensive national search, Joe Susan, a veteran of more than 30 years in the college coaching profession, has been named the Bob Odell Head Football Coach at Bucknell University, it was announced Wednesday by Bucknell director of athletics and recreation John Hardt.
Susan, 54, is Bucknell's 26th head coach since the program's inception in 1883, and he takes over a program that ranks 17th all-time in Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) victories with 564.
Susan, a 1977 graduate of the University of Delaware, has served near-decade-long stints at Bucknell (1981-1990), Princeton (1991-1999) and Rutgers (2001-2009). He has had tenures at both the Football Bowl Subdivision (Rutgers, Memphis) and Football Championship Subdivision (Bucknell, Princeton, Davidson) levels.
"Coach Susan brings to Bucknell a track record of success working with top student-athletes to help them succeed both inside and outside the classroom," Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell said. "We are delighted to welcome him back to Bucknell, and look forward to his leadership of the Bison."
A native of South River, N.J., Susan returns to Bucknell from Rutgers, where he has spent the last nine years as an assistant coach on Greg Schiano's staff. Schiano, a three-time letterwinner at Bucknell, was recruited by Susan, played for the Bison teams Susan coached and served as co-captain as a senior in 1987.
"I am thrilled for our student-athletes and football program to be able to welcome Joe Susan and his family back to Bucknell," said Hardt. "His 30-plus years of successful experience in college football have prepared him exceptionally well to lead our program and reestablish the winning traditions of Bison Football. Through his student-focused approach, Joe has demonstrated an ability to recruit and mentor top-notch student-athletes at all levels of college football. Coach Susan has a passion for the sport of football and devotion for the young men he coaches on a daily basis. I know he is eager to get to work, and everyone associated with Bison Athletics is looking forward to welcoming him back to campus."
At Rutgers, Susan spent three years as the offensive line coach before adding tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator to his duties in 2003. As recruiting coordinator, he was integral in securing several highly touted and nationally ranked recruiting classes, including the 2009 group, which was ranked in the top 25 nationally by ESPN.com. His main recruiting areas were Central New Jersey, Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Florida, Delaware and Canada, although he directed Rutgers' national efforts.
Prior to Susan's arrival at Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights had not posted a record above .500 for nearly a decade and had qualified for one bowl game in 131 years of football. This past year, Rutgers played in its fifth consecutive bowl game and finished 9-4.
Susan directed a deep corps of tight ends during his tenure at Rutgers that included former three-time All-Big East selection Clark Harris, a 2007 seventh-round draft choice of the Green Bay Packers.
Prior to his time at Rutgers, Susan got his first chance as a head coach when spent one year as the frontman at Davidson in 2000. He led the Wildcats to a 10-0 record, the only unbeaten team in school history and a single-season record for wins. Susan was named the Coach of the Year by the Division I-AA Independents Sports Information Directors Association. Additionally, he received a Presidential Citation from the University of Delaware for outstanding achievement.
At Princeton, Susan served as both the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for nearly a decade. In addition to recruiting duties at the Ivy League institution, he organized and implemented year-round strength and conditioning programs, developed and coordinated the spring football clinic and coordinated travel plans for away games.
Susan's initial tour of duty at Bucknell began in June 1981. From 1981 through 1988 he was in charge of the offensive line and served as strength coach for the Bison under head coaches Bob Curtis and George Landis. When Lou Maranzana was hired as head coach prior to the 1989 campaign, Susan was promoted to assistant head coach while still keeping his duties with the offensive line.
Susan's first foray into the coaching profession came at his alma mater where he was a graduate assistant on two separate occasions, separated by a one-year volunteer stint at Gettysburg.
Susan enjoyed an outstanding playing career at Delaware (1973-76), as his teams compiled a 36-12-1 record in his tenure there. The 1976 Newark Touchdown Club Offensive Lineman of the Year, Susan helped the Blue Hens to two Lambert Cups (1974, 1976) and the NCAA Division II national championship game.
In addition to a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Delaware, Susan earned his master's in physical education with an emphasis in exercise physiology from his alma mater in 1982.
Off the field, Susan is a member of the American Football Coaches Association, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, the University of Delaware Alumni Association and the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
Susan replaces Tim Landis as Bucknell's head football coach. Landis resigned last month to take a position on the staff of FCS member San Jose State.
Susan and his wife, Cynthia, have three children - 25-year-old son Joseph, 23-year-old daughter Jessica and 21-year-old daughter Julia. Bucknell is a highly-selective, privately endowed liberal arts institution with an enrollment of more than 3,500 undergraduate students and it annually ranks among the national leaders in graduation rates, and it ranks fifth among all Division I programs in total number of Academic All-Americans with 118. Bucknell competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the Patriot League and has full membership along with American, Army, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh and Navy. Bucknell has won the Presidents' Cup, signifying the Patriot League's all-sports champion, in 15 of 19 years, including 11 of the last 12.
The Susan File
Rutgers, Dec. 2000-Jan. 26, 2010
Memphis, Feb. 2000-April 2000
Delaware, 1977-78, 1980