University of Tulsa Head Football Coach Philip Montgomery announced today that Dan Bitson will remain with the Golden Hurricane football staff as the Director of Player Development.
Bitson spent the previous three years as a full-time assistant coach. He coached running backs in his first two years and was the receivers coach in 2014.
A season ago, Bitson coached second-team all-conference sophomore Keevan Lucas, who amassed 1,219 yards and 11 touchdowns to rank second in the American Athletic Conference for receptions, receiving yards and all-purpose yards.
In 2013, 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. 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, as the Hurricane won the Conference USA Championship and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl that year.
“Dan's career as a player at Tulsa speaks for itself. You just have to look at the All-America wall to see that. He's been a part of the university as a student-athlete, later as a coach and now as director of player development,” said Montgomery. “His background as a player is something that our student-athletes can look up to and hopefully learn from his past experiences.”
“He's done some great things for this university on the football field and has contributed to TU during different periods of his career,” added Montgomery.
“With his experience in the Tulsa community and his extensive playing career at TU, Dan will be able to assist our student-athletes as they get on campus. He will be a great mentor for our young student-athletes as they come here and are adapting to life after high school and that next step in their future,” said Montgomery.
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. He coached receivers at Tulsa in 2001 and 2002.
He spent six years (1994-99) as the receivers coach at Northwestern (La.) State. 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 at Tulsa. 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.
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.