The FDU-Florham Devils athletic department announced the hiring of Brian Surace as head football coach on Thursday afternoon. This will be the first head coaching job for Surace.
Surace had returned to RPI this past season as offensive coordintaor after a five-year stint at Northeastern, a Division I FCS school. He had previously been offensive coordinator at RPI from 1999-2004 as well and was a candidate to replace longtime coach Joe King when he stepped down this offseason.
RPI named its coaching choice earlier this week.
“I am really excited for the opportunity to be the head football coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University and to get back to New Jersey,” said Surace. “It’s a tremendous opportunity at a great school. I am looking forward to completing the recruiting process, starting spring practice and getting the ball rolling.”
During his first tenure at RPI, Surace helped the team win two UCAA championships and in 2001, the Engineers earned the top seed in the East Region of the NCAA playoffs before losing their opening game. In 2003, RPI went 11-2 and advanced to the national semifinals while Surace was named the American Football Magazine Offensive Assistant Coach of the Year.
From RPI, Surace went on to be the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Northeastern from 2005-2009. In 2009, the Huskies had the leading rusher in the conference while also having two offensive linemen named Second Team All-Conference.
FDU athletic director Bill Klika, a former Devils head coach himself, said: “We feel that Brian will be an excellent addition to the athletic department. His football experience as a coach and player will create a very positive atmosphere for our football program. Brian has strong ties to New Jersey which will be an additional help in recruiting outstanding student-athletes to the university.”
Surace has also coached at King’s (1995-96), Springfield (1996-97) and Rutgers (1997-98). He comes from a long line of football coaches as his father, Tony, coached at Millville High School for 25 years while his brother, Bob, a former Division III head coach at Western Connecticut, is currently the head coach at Princeton.
A 1995 graduate of Gettysburg with a bachelor’s degree in management, Surace went on to earn a master’s degree in physical education from Springfield.