Former Golden Hurricane All-America receiver and McLain High School Head Football Coach Dan Bitson was appointed to the Tulsa coaching staff on January 20, 2012. After spending his first two seasons as Running Backs Coach, Bitson will coach the Hurricane receivers in 2014.
Bitson is in his second coaching stint at his alma mater and now has 18 years of collegiate coaching experience. He coached the Tulsa receivers in 2001 and 2002.
Last year, Bitson tutored Trey Watts to a second 1,000-yard rushing year as the senior finished his career second on the school's career rushing chart and was one of three finalists for the Brandon Burlsworth Trophy, given to the nation's top player who began his career as a walk-on.
In 2012, Bitson coached a trio of running backs -- Watts, Ja'Terian Douglas and Alex Singleton - who combined for 2,844 yards and 34 touchdowns on the ground, while Singleton became the school's all-time leader for rushing touchdowns (43) and touchdowns (44).
Before returning to TU, Bitson spent three years as the Head Football Coach at Tulsa's McLain High School. He led his 2011 team to a 6-4 record and an appearance in the Class 4A playoffs, while posting an 11-18 record in his three seasons. More impressive was the fact that 18 of the 21 seniors that Bitson coached went on to attend college, including 10 who played football on the collegiate level.
Bitson held collegiate coaching positions at Auburn from 2006 to 2008 as offensive quality control coach, at Kentucky as an offensive volunteer in 2005 and before that spent three seasons (2002-04) at Lincoln (Mo.) University as the offensive coordinator. In 2004, Lincoln had the nation's 15th-best rushing offense in Division II.
Before that, Bitson spent two years coaching Tulsa receivers in 2001 and 2002, where he mentored Donald Shoals and Romby Bryant. Shoals had 75 receptions for 908 yards in 2001, while Bryant, who later went on to a solid professional career in the Canadian Football League, caught 49 passes for 593 yards in the 2002 campaign.
Bitson spent six years (1994-99) as the receivers coach at Northwestern (La.) State, where he developed some of the most productive receivers in school history. He helped Northwestern State win Southland Conference titles in 1997 and 1998, while the Demons advanced to an NCAA I-AA quarterfinals in 1998 and the semifinals a year later. In the summer of 1995, Bitson worked an internship with the Oakland Raiders as he helped with the defensive line and running backs.
Prior to that, Bitson coached the running backs, linebackers and special teams at Trinity Valley Junior College in 1993. TVJC finished the season ranked fifth in the NJCAA poll and won the Real Dairy Bowl.
Bitson was a two-time second-team All-America selection for the Tulsa in his collegiate career. Prior to the 1989 Independence Bowl, Bitson incurred injuries from a near-fatal automobile accident on Dec. 4. Thought that he would never play football again, Bitson underwent a long rehabilitation and returned to the football field for the 1991 season. In the opener that year, Bitson returned to the field and caught a four-yard pass on his first play against Southwest Missouri State.
Bitson ended his playing career as the school's second-leading receiver with 3,330 yards and 29 touchdown receptions. He was a second-team Associated Press All-American as a junior in 1989 with 73 catches for 1,425 yards and 16 touchdowns. In 1988, Bitson caught 52 passes for 1,138 yards and nine TDs, while earning second-team All-America merits from The Sporting News.
He was inducted into The University of Tulsa Athletic Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2007.
Bitson, who played prep football at Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School, earned his bachelor's degree in physical education, health and recreation from TU in 1991. He received his master's degree in educational technology from Northwestern State in 2001.
Bitson and his wife, Dr. Estella Bitson, have one son: Taylor.
THE BITSON FILE
Bowl Games as a Player 1989 Independence Bowl (Tulsa) 1991 Freedom Bowl (Tulsa)
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