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Sal Sunseri
Oakland Raiders
Position: Linebackers coach
Personal information
Date of birth: (1959-08-01) August 1, 1959 (age 56)
Career information
College: Pittsburgh
Career history
As coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season: NCAA: 0–1 (.000)

Sal Sunseri (born August 1, 1959) is an American college and professional football coach. He is currently the linebackers coach for the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League (NFL). 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]

In December 2012, Sunseri accepted a job as a defensive assistant at Florida State University. Sunseri helped coach Florida State to the 2013 BCS National Championship.[11]

In January 2015 Sunseri accepted the position of linebackers coach with the Oakland Raiders.[12]

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 is a backup Quarterback for the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL.[13] His younger son, Vinnie, plays safety for the New Orleans Saints.

Head coaching record[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Pittsburgh Panthers (Big East Conference) (1992)
1992 Pittsburgh 0–1 0–0 6th
Pittsburgh: 0–1 0–0
Total: 0–1


  1. ^ a b c d e "Sal Sunseri". Carolina Panthers. Archived from the original on January 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  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). Archived from the original on January 24, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  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. ^ "Raiders Announce Four Assistant Coaches". Raiders.com. 
  13. ^ "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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1426 news items


Thu, 28 Jan 2016 10:33:04 -0800

From 2009-11, he led the Crimson Tide outside linebackers before leaving for the defensive coordinator job at Tennessee. He went to Florida State for two years after that. Now, Sunseri is beginning Year 2 as the Oakland Raiders' linebackers coach.


Fri, 12 Feb 2016 07:00:00 -0800

"We were glad to get out of the Sal Sunseri defense," Walls said of his previous defensive coordinator. "It didn't fit our personnel. The defense Sal wanted to run was more like an Alabama-style defense, and you have to have big defensive tackles in ...
Thu, 16 Jul 2015 14:22:30 -0700

1. His son, Vinnie Sunseri, is a Safety for the New Orleans Saints and previously played for the Alabama Crimson Tide. His other son, Tino Sunseri, previously played QB at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently a QB in the Canadian Football League.

Rocky Top Talk

Rocky Top Talk
Thu, 04 Feb 2016 04:56:15 -0800

The could-have-been 2012 Vols started three junior college transfers, two on the defensive line as part of a failed attempt to adapt in Sal Sunseri's defense. Last fall Jauan Jennings was Tennessee's leading wide receiver in the month of September, and ...


Wed, 03 Feb 2016 11:35:05 -0800

Sal Sunseri is chairman of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board and owns P&J Oysters in the French Quarter. He says coastal land loss and planned diversions are also decreasing the habitat for local fish and oyster beds. “The natural ...

Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Sentinel
Fri, 01 May 2015 16:27:33 -0700

FSU DE Mario Edwards Jr. was taken 35th overall by the Oakland Raiders in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. That means Edwards will reunite with Sal Sunseri, who coached him at FSU the past two seasons. Sunseri, was an outside ...

Giants.com (blog)

Giants.com (blog)
Thu, 14 Jan 2016 11:59:38 -0800

Actually a funny story was I was turned on to a possible opening with the Saints. A coach that I think very highly of, who is with the Raiders now, Sal Sunseri, tipped me off onto it. Mike McCarthy was the offensive coordinator at the time. I ended up ...

Rocky Top Talk

Rocky Top Talk
Mon, 18 Jan 2016 04:00:00 -0800

I'm not including John Chavis or Jim Chaney on this list, which certainly does include Derek Dooley and Sal Sunseri; Chavis and Chaney have had no problem landing work on the same level, which has not happened for Fulmer, Dooley, Sunseri, or so far ...

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