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Tulsa Names Former Hurricane All-American Dan Bitson to Football Coaching Staff

Dan Bitson as an All-America receiver at Tulsa in 1989.
Dan Bitson as an All-America receiver at Tulsa in 1989.
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Jan. 20, 2012

Tulsa, Oklahoma - University of Tulsa Head Football Coach announced today that former Golden Hurricane All-America receiver and McLain High School Head Football Coach Dan Bitson has been appointed to the Tulsa coaching staff. He will coach the Hurricane running backs.

Bitson is in his second coaching stint at his alma mater, having coached receivers in 2001 and 2002, and brings 16 years of collegiate coaching experience to Tulsa. He spent the past three years as the Head Football Coach at Tulsa's McLain High School. Bitson 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 is the fact that 18 of the 21 seniors that Bitson coached have gone on to attend college, including 10 who have played football on the collegiate level.

"We're excited to have Dan join our football family. I've been really impressed with the job that Dan has done at McLain High School. He brings a lot of credibility as an All-American at The University of Tulsa, a guy that's a Tulsan and who made his mark at TU," said Blankenship. "I think Dan will do a great job for us in recruiting. He's a very well-respected coach and he'll be an excellent fit to our staff."

Previously, Bitson held collegiate coaching positions at Auburn from 2006 to 2008 as offensive quality control, 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.

Bitson was a two-time second-team All-America selection for the Hurricane in 1988 and 1989. Prior to the 1989 Independence Bowl, Bitson incurred near-fatal injuries from an 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.



In his first Tulsa coaching stop, Bitson mentored Donald Shoals and Romby Bryant in 2001 and 2002. Shoals had 75 receptions for 908 yards in 2001, while Bryant, who later went on to a solid professional career with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders, caught 49 passes for 593 yards in the 2002 campaign.

Before his first coaching stint at Tulsa, 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.

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.

In the summer of 1995, Bitson worked an internship with the Oakland Raiders as he helped with the defensive line and running backs.

Bitson ended his Tulsa playing career as the second-leading receiver in Tulsa history 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, 43, and his wife, Dr. Estella Bitson, have one son: Taylor.

Alma Mater: Tulsa '91
Birthdate: December 8, 1968
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
College Coaching Experience: 16 years (1993-2008).
Playing Experience: Three-year starter at receiver for Tulsa (1987-89, 91).
Was a second-team All-American in 1988 and '89

Bowl Games as a Player 1989 Independence Bowl (Tulsa) 1991 Freedom Bowl (Tulsa)

Bowl Games as a Coach 2006 Cotton Bowl (Auburn) 2007 Chick-fil-A (Auburn)