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Former Pitt Great Dion Lewis Announced as Coach at Albany



Dion Lewis

Former great Pitt running back Dion Lewis is now the assistant running backs coach at Albany, the program announced on Saturday.

Lewis starred for the Panthers for two seasons in 2009 and 2010. He had the difficult task of following up another Pitt great running back in LeSean McCoy and did so admirably.

His first year in 2009, he ran 325 times for 1,799 yards and 17 touchdowns, with both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns Pitt program records for a freshman. For his efforts, he earned Big East Offensive Player of the Year, Big East Rookie of the Year and Second Team All-American Honors in 2009.

Lewis also holds the Pitt record for rushes in a single game with 47 against then ranked No. 5 Cincinnati in a 45-44 loss in heartbreaking fashion on Dec. 5, 2009.

He saw his rushing yards diminish in 2010, as he suffered some injuries and shared rushing duties with Ray Graham, but still gained over 1,000 yards on the ground.

Lewis chose to enter the 2011 NFL Draft and the Philadelphia Eagles selected him in the Fifth Round at the No. 149 pick.

He did not see much action in his first two seasons with the Eagles and then didn’t play in his next two seasons with the Cleveland Browns in 2013 nor the Indianapolis Colts in 2014.

Lewis played his best football in the NFL with the New England Patriots from 2015-17. His 2017 season saw him play all 16 games and start in eight of them, while rushing 180 times for 896 yards and six touchdowns, all career bests for him.

He also played in two Super Bowls with the Patriots, winning Super Bowl LI (2017) in a dramatic overtime comeback against the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 and losing to his former team in the Eagles, 41-33, in Super Bowl LII (2018).

Lewis would play for the Tennessee Titans from 2018-19 and then finished his career with the New York giants in 2020 before retiring prior to the 2021 season. His career totals are 102 games played, 27 games started, 567 carries, 2,457 rushing yards, 13 rushing touchdowns, 1,408 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns.

Lewis now goes back to his hometown of Albany, N.Y. to coach the Great Danes ahead of the 2023 season. He’ll join head coach Greg Gattuso, who coached a variety of positions at Pitt under head coach Dave Wannestedt from 2005-10.

He joins a few former Pitt players who are now coaches. Wide receiver Mike Shannahan (2008-12), quarterback Tino Sunseri and defensive back Jarred Holley (both 2009-12) are offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and cornerbacks coach, respectively at James Madison.

Tight end Nate Byham (2006-09) is now the tight ends coach at Stanford. Defensive back Hank Poteat (1996-99) has coached at many different schools and is starting as cornerbacks coach at Iowa State for the 2023 season

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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