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Carmen Felus named new Juniata College head football coach

(Posted December 18, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Carmen Felus, a central Pennsylvania native with 14 years coaching experience including a stint at one of Pennsylvania's top Division II programs, has been chosen to lead the football program at Juniata College. Felus begins his new duties at Juniata immediately.

"Carmen brings a Pennsylvania background, from his upbringing in Cambria County and coaching at IUP in particular, and we expect this will translate into a positive and aggressive recruiting approach in our region," said Juniata athletic director Larry Bock. "He has been consistently positive about accepting the challenge here at Juniata, and is obviously a 'can-do' professional. We're all real excited about the opportunity to work with Coach Felus."

Felus comes to Juniata from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, where he was the assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, and quarterbacks coach for the past three seasons. While at UT-Chattanooga, Felus coached San Diego Chargers free agent signee Eldra Buckley, who is still a member of the Chargers' practice squad. Competing in the Southern Conference - consistently regarded as one of the toughest NCAA Division I FCS conferences in the nation - the Mocs went 6-28 during Felus' three years as offensive coordinator.

Previously, Felus was offensive coordinator at Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania from 2000 to 2005, where he engineered offenses that helped lead the Crimson Hawks to a share of five PSAC West championships and three trips to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Four IUP offensive players coached by Felus were either drafted or signed as free agents with teams in the National Football League or the Canadian Football League. The Crimson Hawks posted a combined mark of 49-16 during Felus' six years on the staff at IUP, and were ranked among the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II top 20 for 52 consecutive poll weeks.

IUP's best season during that time was in 2002, when the Crimson Hawks were ranked as high as sixth in the Division II poll, and reached the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs before finishing with an 11-2 record. The 2002 squad averaged 33.2 point per game, leading the conference and ranking 18th in Division II in that category.

Felus was on the coaching staff at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va., during the 1998 and 1999 seasons, where he was again on an offensive coaching staff that enjoyed phenomenal success. The Rams were 19-4 over Felus' two seasons at Shepherd, winning a pair of West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) championships and advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Felus served as the Rams' offensive coordinator, and coached the quarterbacks and wide receivers in addition to coordinating Shepherd's recruiting efforts.

Felus began his coaching career at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa., in 1995, and spent two seasons' on the Red Flash sidelines. He then moved on to Adams State College in Colorado, where was the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach for one season before accepting the position at Shepherd.

"I am very pleased to welcome Carmen to the Juniata community," said Juniata President Tom Kepple. "He knows the Centennial Conference, as a McDaniel grad, has helped take teams to postseason play and to championships, and has great experience in recruiting. He has also hit the ground running, working with our staff and current athletes to ensure a great start for next fall."

A native of Lilly, Pa., Felus graduated from Penn Cambria High School, and was a two-year letterwinner as a quarterback and wide receiver at Lock Haven University between 1990-92. He transferred to Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), where he completed his athletic eligibility in 1994 as the Green Terror's sixth leading receiver in school history with 89 receptions for 755 yards. He graduated from Western Maryland in 1995 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature.

Carmen and his wife Jennifer (Podlucky) welcomed their first child, a daughter named Marissa Carmella, on Thursday, Dec. 4. Jennifer also has ties to central Pennsylvania; she hails from Johnstown, Pa.

Felus replaces former head coach Darrell Alt, who announced his resignation on November 7, 2008. Alt currently serves as Juniata's associate athletic director.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.