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  • Henry Geller

Introducing New Football Head Coach Dan Swanstrom

New Head Coach Dan Swanstrom

Image: Cornell Athletics

As campus was quiet with students preparing for their final exams, the Hall of Fame Room in Schoellkopf Memorial Hall was alive as Dan Swanstrom, the newly announced Roger J. Weiss ’61 Head Coach of Football was formally introduced to the Cornell athletics community.

Swanstrom’s collegiate football career started as a quarterback for Rhodes College. There, he held single-season passing yards and career passing yards records for 11 years, which would later propel him to be an inductee to the Rhodes College Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dan Swanstrom was the quarterback for Rhodes in 2005

Image: Rhodes College Athletics

Soon after his playing career, Swanstrom’s coaching career started as a graduate assistant at the University of Redlands. His first post-grad coaching job was in Baltimore, MD at Johns Hopkins University, where he climbed the coaching ladder quickly, holding Quarterbacks Coach, Offensive Coordinator, and Associate Head Coach positions.

Swanstrom accepted his first Division-I coaching offer from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was Quarterbacks Coach. During his time at Penn, he helped the Quakers improve drastically. In his first season (2014) the team only won two games, but then went 7-3 in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons where the Quakers were crowned back-to-back Ivy League champions.

This success gave Swanstrom his first Head Coaching job offer with Ithaca College, where he thrived. During his four seasons, he led the Bombers to a 32-11 record and three Liberty League titles in 2017, 2018, and 2021 (in 2019 the Bombers finished in second place in the Liberty League, and the 2020 season was canceled due to Covid-19).

Dan Swanstrom as head coach at Ithaca College

Image: Ithaca College Athletics

His success on the South Hill brought him back to Philadelphia to be Penn’s offensive coordinator. In 2021, the season before Swanstrom was brought back, the Quakers finished 3-7, with just one conference win against Brown. The next season, Swanstrom helped to bring Penn back to the top of the Ancient Eight, finishing 8-2 (5-2 in the Ivy League).

Dan Swanstrom as Penn's Offensive Coordinator

Image: Penn Athletics/Hunter Martin

Swanstrom is already looking to make a difference at Cornell and replicate his prior coaching successes.

At his introductory press conference, he told Cornell coaches, administrators, players, and other members of the athletics community that “The 2024 season is in construction, so we don't have much time. We have got to get to work, and I am truly excited to be your next head football coach. It's a special moment being in front of you guys and if there's anything you need, I'm excited to be here ready to go to work for you guys, and I couldn't be more excited to be standing in front of you as your next head football coach."

Dan Swanstrom (center) with Vice President for Student & Campus Life Ryan Lombardi (left) and Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education Dr. Nicki Moore (right)

Image: Cornell Athletics

He added: “There is a real appetite to get the football program where it needs to go, and I am not going to spend a lot of time talking about the past. There's a legitimate vision here to have a great football program. I was truly passionate and excited about this opportunity to be the head football coach at Cornell.”

After the presser concluded, Swanstrom took time to speak with members of the BRSN executive board. The overarching message was clear: his leadership will ensure a ‘commitment to excellence’ and that the team must ‘be excellent everywhere.’ He also emphasized that the foundation of the team is strong with a simple comment: “The bones are good.”

Dan Swanstrom (left) with members of BRSN's executive board

Image: Cornell Athletics

The Cornell Football program is looking to the future, and with the leadership of Dan Swanstrom, there is reason to be optimistic about what the future will hold.


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09 de dez. de 2023


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