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Penn football's offensive coordinator Dan Swanstrom during a team practice on Sept. 8, 2022.

Credit: Anna Vazhaeparambil

Penn football offensive coordinator Dan Swanstrom will leave the program to become the head football coach at Cornell, Penn Athletics announced Wednesday.

Swanstrom has served as Penn's offensive coordinator for the last two seasons, a period over which the Red and Blue ranked second in offensive yardage in the Ivy League. Prior to that, Swanstrom also served as Penn's quarterbacks coach and recruiting coordinator from 2014 to 2016, and as the head coach at Ithaca College from 2016 to 2021.

"The opportunity to be the head football coach at Cornell, in the best football league, is special," Swanstrom said in a statement. "I understand that this would not be possible without Penn football, and I will never forget that." 

"This is a day of mixed emotions," Penn head coach Ray Priore said in the statement announcing the move. "Obviously, I'm thrilled for Dan to get the opportunity to be a head coach again — he had a ton of success at Ithaca before he came back to us two years ago and is fully deserving of this chance."

During his time as offensive coordinator, Swanstrom transformed Penn's Ivy League-worst offense into the conference's most effective attack. In 2021, the Quakers finished with the lowest points and yards totals in the Ivy League. But just two seasons later, the Red and Blue led the Ancient Eight in yardage and finished third in scoring, a testament to Swanstrom's impact on the unit.

Several of Penn's offensive skill players also flourished under Swanstrom — most notably junior quarterback Aidan Sayin, sophomore wide receiver Jared Richardson, and freshman running back Malachi Hosley — all of whom received All-Ivy honors in 2023. Sayin was named an honorable mention for the second-straight season, while Richardson and Hosley were selected to the first team, and Hosley became the first Quaker to win Ivy League Rookie of the Year since 1993.

Cornell Athletic Director Nicki Moore spoke highly of Swanstrom, calling him "a change agent for competitive success and student-athlete thriving," and citing his "championship pedigree." Swanstrom is set to be the 28th head football coach in Cornell history and will attempt to revitalize the Big Red program, which has not seen a winning season since 2005.