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Sal Sunseri
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1959-08-01) August 1, 1959 (age 55)
Playing career
1978–1981 Pittsburgh
Position(s) Linebacker
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Pittsburgh (DL/LB)
Iowa Wesleyan (AC)
Illinois State (DC)
Louisville (LB)
Alabama A&M (DC/LB)
Michigan State (LB/ST)
Carolina Panthers (DL)
Alabama (AHC/LB)
Tennessee (DC)
Florida State (DE)
Head coaching record
Overall 0–1
College Football Data Warehouse

Sal Sunseri (born August 1, 1959) is an American college and professional football coach. He is currently the defensive ends coach at Florida State. Sunseri played college football for the University of Pittsburgh, where he was an All-American linebacker.

Playing career[edit]

Sunseri attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he played for the Pittsburgh Panthers football team from 1978 to 1981.[1] After beginning his career as a walk-on,[2] Sunseri was a three-year starter and anchored a defense that led the NCAA in total defense in both 1980 and 1981.[1] During his senior year, he was named a team captain and a consensus first-team All-American.

After graduating he was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1982 NFL Draft; however, he suffered a career ending knee injury during training camp[1][3] and was given an injury settlement and released from the team.

Coaching career[edit]

Between 1985 and 1992, Sunseri worked as a defensive line and linebacker's coach for his alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh.[4] After Paul Hackett was fired as the team's head coach during Pittsburgh's 1992 season,[5] Sunseri was promoted as an interim head coach for the final game versus Hawaiʻi[6]—a 36–23 loss for the Panthers.[7]

After having previously worked as the defensive line coach for the NFL's Carolina Panthers for six seasons,[1] Sunseri returned to college football on January 21, 2009, when he was named as the outside linebackers coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team.[8][9] In January 2012, days after winning his second national championship with Alabama, Sunseri left to join Derek Dooley's staff at Tennessee as the defensive coordinator.[10] Under Sunseri Tennessee suffered its worst statistical defensive effort in school history.

In December 2012, Sunseri accepted a job as a defensive assistant at Florida State University.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Sunseri is married to Roxann Sunseri (née Evans), who is a former varsity gymnast at Pittsburgh.[1] The couple has two daughters and two sons. His son, Tino also plays football for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.[12] His younger son, Vinnie, plays safety for the New Orleans Saints.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Pittsburgh Panthers (Big East Conference) (1992)
1992 Pittsburgh 0–1 0–0 6th
Toledo: 0–1 0–0
Total: 0–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


  1. ^ a b c d e "Sal Sunseri". Carolina Panthers. Retrieved 2009-02-18. [dead link]
  2. ^ http://www.seminoles.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/sal_sunseri_834248.html
  3. ^ Tuma, Gary (1983-05-24). "Sunseri, Fedell shooting for comeback with Steelers". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 10. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  4. ^ Emery, Michael (1985-10-19). "Coach Sal Sunseri hopes to bring winning ways back to Pitt". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 11. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  5. ^ Wolff, Alexander (1992-12-07). "Something For Nothing". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Sunseri named interim coach at Pitt". Philadelphia Inquirer. 1992-11-28. p. C03. 
  7. ^ "Pittsburgh Game by Game Results: 1992". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  8. ^ Gantt, Darin (2009-01-20). "Panthers lose D-line coach Sunseri to Alabama". The Herald (Rock Hill, South Carolina). Retrieved 2009-02-18. [dead link]
  9. ^ Estes, Gentry (2009-01-21). "Alabama formally names Sal Sunseri and James Willis as new assistants". Mobile Press-Register (AL.com). Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  10. ^ "Vols Name Sunseri Defensive Coordinator". UTSports.com. 2012-01-13. 
  11. ^ "Could Sal Sunseri join Florida State as a position coach?". Tomahawknation.com. Retrieved 2012-12-16. 
  12. ^ "Tino Sunseri". University of Pittsburgh Athletics. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sal_Sunseri — Please support Wikipedia.
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27 news items

Memphis Commercial Appeal

Memphis Commercial Appeal
Sat, 25 Oct 2014 23:45:00 -0700

And Tennessee's defense looked as though former coordinator Sal Sunseri was back in charge. But coach Butch Jones and his offensive staff looked worse than the defense. The outcome was no longer in doubt when quarterback Joshua Dobbs rescued UT's ...


Mon, 27 Oct 2014 08:56:15 -0700

Instead, he hired Sal Sunseri to run the defense and the wheels came off that side of the ball. But entering Dooley's third year you can also argue that Tennessee was more talented than it will be entering Butch's third year. Think about the talent ...

Bleacher Report

Bleacher Report
Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:29:19 -0700

Defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and assistant coaches Bill Miller and Sal Sunseri are recruiting McFadden for the 'Noles. The 5-star prospect said the staff makes him feel like a priority and talks to his parents whenever possible. As for Georgia ...


Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:48:38 -0700

His Sal Sunseri led defense managed to give up 4,653 yards in the final twenty minutes of that game and the Gators won 37-20. I know that kind of offensive output sounds improbable, but Sal Sunseri is the only defensive coordinator in SEC history to ...


Sat, 04 Oct 2014 19:26:15 -0700

And it's one FSU defensive coordinator Charles Kelly and defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri plan on using moving forward, highlighting Edwards' versatility. “I talked to Coach Sal today and Coach Kelly and said, 'Man, are we going to be like this in ...

The Territory.org (subscription)

The Territory.org (subscription)
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:27:06 -0700

True Freshman Lorenzo Featherston was lined up opposite of Mario Edwards Jr. during defensive end drills while Jacob Pugh and Rick Leonard were the second team. Defensive ends coach Sal Sunseri was not pleased with Chris Casher's effort and, told ...


Wed, 15 Oct 2014 12:30:00 -0700

Sophomore (2012): Williams moved to JACK linebacker as a sophomore under one-and-done defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, and he adapted decently well to the position, truth be told. He appeared in 10 of Tennessee's 12 games that season and started ...


Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:26:39 -0700

Alabama offensive lineman Austin Shepherd (79) and Alabama offensive lineman Leon Brown (72) work through drills during Alabama football practice, Monday, September 29, 2014, at the Thomas-Drew Practice Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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