Everything we know about Dan Swanstrom, IC’s 10th Head Football Coach

Spoiler Alert: he coached Andrew Luck

Earlier today, Dan Swanstrom was named the new Ithaca College head football coach. Here’s everything we know about the team’s new leader:

He comes from a winning Division I school

He has been the quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator at Penn since 2014. Penn won back-to-back Ivy League Championships in 2015 and 2016.

He’s had a lot of different jobs

Swanstrom has coached at Pennsylvania, John Hopkins and the University of Redlands. Throughout his time coaching, he has been a wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator and associate head coach.

It was a good day. #ChampionYourLife

A photo posted by Penn Football (@pennfootball) on

His players are record setters

While at Penn, Swanstrom oversaw the growth of two-time First-Team All-Ivy selection Alek Torgersen. Torgersen became just the second quarterback in school history to pass more than 7,000 yards. Swanstrom previously coached at John Hopkins from 2008 to 2013 where he won five Centennial Conference titles. Every significant offensive team record in school history was broken while he was offensive coordinator. An additional 75 individual records were broken.

He coached Andrew Luck

Yes, the current Indianapolis Colts quarterback. Swanstrom spent one season as a high school coach at Stratford High School in Texas where he coached Luck.

Can't wait to get the Season started

A photo posted by Andrew Luck (@andrewluck.12) on

He’s not a former Bomber

In 2005, he graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a two-time football captain, the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a Gagliardi Trophy finalist.

He played professional football in Germany

After graduating college, he played in the German football league with the Darmstadt Diamonds.

Glückwunsch an die Diamonds U17! Mit einem 56:6 gewinnt das Team gegen die Marburg Mercenaries. Mit dabei natürlich auch das neue Diamonds Scoreboard #godiamonds #darmstadtdiamonds #diamondswin ???

A photo posted by @darmstadtdiamonds on

He’s a southern family man

Swanstrom is a Texas native who now has a 5-year-old son named Harrison and a 3-year-old daughter named Ellie with his wife Kristin.

He’s only the fourth head coach in nearly 60 years

He is the 10th head coach of the program, but only the fourth in the last six decades. Since 1958, only three coaches, Dick Lyon, Jim Butterfield and Mike Welch, have been the head coaches of the Ithaca football program.


No one saw him coming

Players and students have been expressing their surprise at the naming of a new head coach who is not already part of the program. Former Ithaca football player and current Assistant Coach and Defensive Coordinator Mark McDonough was anticipated by many to earn the position. Swanstrom was one of three semifinalists who received on-campus interviews earlier this month. All three finalists interviewed with a variety of groups, including the screening committee, head coaches and staff members, admissions and financial services, athletic trainers, faculty-athletic representatives and senior football players.

He has BIG shoes to fill

Ithaca football’s most recent head coach, Mike Welch, retired at the end of last season after 23 years at the helm of the program. He helped lead the program to two national championships, eight NCAA championship appearances, eight Empire 8 Conference championships, and four ECAC Bowl games. He was named coach of the year by the Empire 8 four times since 2003. He earned his place in Ithaca’s hall of fame last year. Welch, just like the coaches before him, set the standard of excellence in coaching this program at an extraordinarily high level. Any coach that comes in has a lot to accomplish if they’re going to life up to Welch’s legacy.


Ithaca College