Dan Swanstrom has been named the Roger J. Weiss ’61 Head Coach of Cornell Football.

Dan Swanstrom named 28th head coach of Cornell Football

Dan Swanstrom, the architect of Ithaca College football’s recent resurgence and an impactful offensive coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania and at Johns Hopkins University, has been named the Roger J. Weiss ’61 Head Coach of Cornell Football.

Swanstrom becomes the university’s 28th head coach.

Nicki Moore, the Meakem Smith Director of Athletics and Physical Education, will formally introduce Swanstrom to the Cornell community on Dec. 8 at 11:30 a.m. at a press conference in the Hall of Fame Room overlooking Schoellkopf Field. The event will be broadcast live on CornellBigRed.com.

“Our Big Red teams bring an energy to campus that helps to create a sense of community and shared pride and spirit that bonds Cornellians through the decades,” President Martha E. Pollack said. “Coach Swanstrom has already demonstrated his ability to win and to support students at the University of Pennsylvania and right here at neighboring Ithaca College. I look forward to seeing his leadership shape the future of our team while inspiring greatness on and off the field.”

In five seasons at Ithaca College, Swanstrom’s Bombers compiled a 32-11 record, captured three league titles and, maybe most importantly, three Cortaca Jug victories over SUNY Cortland in the biggest little rivalry in college football.

“My family and I couldn’t be more excited to come back home to Ithaca,” Swanstrom said. “I truly believe that everything I have done in my personal and professional life has led me to this opportunity, and I look forward to creating a championship culture on and off the field. The passion for Cornell Football was very apparent during the interview process and gives me great confidence in the future.”

Bookending his coaching tenure with the Bombers were a pair of stints at Ivy rival Penn – first as quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator, and later as offensive coordinator. He was part of the 2015 and 2016 Ivy League championship teams at Penn as an assistant coach, then helped the Quakers jump from last to first in the Ancient Eight in total offense over two seasons while helping Penn improve by five wins from the previous year.

“In Dan Swanstrom we have found a coach and leader who has been a change agent for competitive success and student-athlete thriving wherever he has been,” Moore said. “He leads with intentionality, passion, intelligence and character. Coach Swanstrom’s championship pedigree and dedication to high standards, coupled with his drive to coach at the highest level where excellence in academics and athletics are equally valued and pursued, made him stand out in a very strong pool of candidates.”

As offensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins from 2008-13, Swanstrom helped guide the squad to five conference titles and a 48-10 record, while rewriting the record book in nearly every offensive team category. At Redlands University in Redlands, California, as a graduate assistant coach, his team won its league championship. When he coached a year at Stratford High School in Houston, Swanstrom mentored quarterback Andrew Luck, the future No. 1 overall NFL draft pick.

Swanstrom has also succeeded in developing student-athletes for life after football. His players have gone on to careers from business to medicine, winning academic awards and being honored for service to their communities.

“It was obvious in meeting him that Dan is smart, strategic and extremely passionate about the game. He has a consistent history of winning both on and off the field, and I am confident that he will help Cornell football achieve new heights,” said Ryan Lombardi, vice president for student and campus life.

As a student-athlete himself, Swanstrom was a three-time all-league selection as a record-breaking quarterback at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. A finalist for Division III national player of the year and a two-time team captain, he went on to play in the German Football League with the Darmstadt Diamonds, where he directed the team to a conference title.

Swanstrom and his wife, Kristin, have three children – a son, Harrison, and daughters Elizabeth and Josephine.

Jeremy Hartigan is associate director of athletics for communications.

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Kaitlyn Serrao