Four-Time Defending Centennial Champs Open Season on September 7
Blue Jays Welcome Greyhounds to Homewood For Key Centennial Game
Margraff, Blue Jays Aiming for Fourth Straight Centennial Title
Updated August 21, 2013
The architect of the Johns Hopkins offense is Dan Swanstrom, who enters his sixth season as a member of head coach Jim Margraff's staff and his fifth as the Blue Jays' offensive coordinator.
Swanstrom's impact on the JHU offense has been instrumental in the team's recent success, which includes a 46-12 record, four Centennial Conference titles, three trips to the NCAA Playoffs and one ECAC Championship in his five seasons at Homewood. Need more proof of his impact? Every significant offensive team record in school history has been broken during his tenure and no less than 75 individual records have also fallen during that time as well.
With Swanstrom calling the shots in 2009, the Blue Jay offense reached heights rarely seen at Homewood. Johns Hopkins averaged 29.8 points - the highest scoring average at JHU in more than 40 years - and chalked up 379 yards of total offense and 216 yards passing per game (both fourth-best in the last 40 years).
The Blue Jays tied or broke more than 15 school records on offense alone in 2009, when they won the Centennial Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.
The Blue Jays grabbed a share of another Centennial title in 2010 and won the ECAC South Atlantic Championship largely on the strength of a passing attack that ranked ninth nationally (308.7). Hopkins quarterback Hewitt Tomlin set virtually every JHU season and career passing record and the Blue Jays produced their second consecutive CC Offensive Player of the Year as junior Sam Wernick took the honor after setting school and league records with 17 receiving touchdowns.
Among the team records the Blue Jays set in 2010 were marks for points scored (394), total offense (442.5) and passing yards (3,396).
The efforts in 2009 and 2010 were merely a prelude of things to come in 2011, when Swanstrom's high-powered attack shattered school records for points per game (39.8), total offense (492.7) and passing yards per game (312.3); the Blue Jays finished in the top 12 in the nation in all three categories and Tomlin added Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors to his already impressive resume.
With Tomlin gone, Swanstrom shifted gears and unleashed a potent ground game last season. Riding the back of senior Jonathan Rigaud, the Blue Jays set school records for rushing yards (3,034), rushing touchdowns (47) and points scored (441). The passing attack proved to be just as efficient and Hopkins' quarterbacks set a school record for completion percentage (.674). Rigaud became JHU's fourth straight CC Offensive Player of the Year, grabbed D3football.com All-America honors and six offensive players earned All-Centennial recognition.
Guiding a pair of freshman quarterbacks who combined to make all 11 starts for the Blue Jays in 2008, Swanstrom directed a passing game that accounted for 2,125 yards and 13 touchdowns. None of the players who caught more than two passes in 2008 was a senior and the team's average of 26.1 points per game was (at the time) the fourth-highest single-season average at JHU in the last 30 years.
Swanstrom graduated from Rhodes College (TN), where he was a three-time all-conference selection and a finalist (top 10) for the prestigious Gagliardi Trophy, which is presented annually to the top Division III player in the nation.
Swanstrom set more than a dozen school passing records at Rhodes and finished his career with 7,540 yards passing and 52 touchdown passes. He also rushed for more than 800 yards in his career, was named the SCAC Offensive Player of the Year as a junior and was selected as a team captain in each of his final two years.
Swanstrom spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Redlands. There, he coached the quarterbacks (2006) and wide receivers (2007). He spent the 2005-06 school year as an assistant football and baseball coach at Stratford High School, where he coached current Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck in summer passing leagues. Luck was the top pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
In addition to his coaching exploits and playing career at Rhodes, Swanstrom coached and played for the Darmstadt Diamonds of the German Football League.
Swanstrom and his wife, Kristin, reside in Hampden and have one son, Harrison.