Tim Landis eased back into coaching college football a year ago, working as a part-time assistant at Lycoming. What he found was a renewed fire for coaching.
The Lewisburg resident and former Bucknell head coach began looking for full-time openings after Lycoming's season ended back in November. He found a home, though, right where he was.
Landis was hired as a full-time assistant football coach at Lycoming recently to replace offensive coordinator Scott Brisson. Brisson was recently hired at Lehigh as the Mountain Hawks' wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Lycoming head coach Mike Clark said Landis' official titles are still being worked out, but Landis will be working more closely with the offense as well as with the special teams as he did last year.
"When I was a part-time coach I was coming in at noon or 1 p.m., I had no involvement in recruiting or the administrative part. That'll change now," Landis said. "I'm looking forward to having a recruiting area and getting out. It's neat to be back into the whole picture."
"I didn't have a great paying job for him last year, but sometimes you get lucky," Clark said of Landis. "Tim is a good football coach, and he's been a head coach at a couple different places. He's a phenomenal special teams coach. He relates well to our kids and the kids like him."
Clark new it was likely going to be sooner rather than later that he lost Brisson to another job. Brisson, who had previously coached at Lehigh, was phenomenal as Lycoming's offensive coordinator, working primarily with the quarterbacks and receivers.
He's helped groom quarterback Tyler Jenny into the most efficient passer in school history in his two years as a starter.
"In terms of Xs and Os and receiver and quarterback play, he's the best guy we've had on this staff Clark said. "I delegated more to him than any other assistant that I've had in the last couple years. It makes it tough to lose a guy like that. That's the unfortunate challenge of this level. Good, young coaches need opportunities, they do a good job and they get hired away. It's bittersweet, but I'm incredibly happy for Scott. He definitely made us better in the passing game."
Landis was the head coach at Bucknell from 2003 to 2009, and has also had collegiate head coaching jobs at Davidson, St. Mary's and Rensselaer. In 18 years as a collegiate head coach, Landis' teams have recorded 18 winning seasons.
He moved back to the area a couple years ago when his wife took a job at Bucknell. He took off a year from coaching before joining Lycoming last year.
Clark said one of the benefits of hiring Landis is that Landis seems to be settling into the area and could be on staff longer than a young coach he may hire. So on a staff which includes 40-year veteran Steve Wiser, 10th-year veteran Steve Radocaj, and 25-year veteran Mike Weber, Landis could provide even more stability.
The Warriors past two offensive coordinators have last just two years apiece in the position. Brisson went back to Lehigh after just two years, and Chris Monfiletto took the head coaching position at Kenyon College after two years as Lycoming's offensive coordinator.
"I love Scott and I love Chris Monfiletto and they were both guys who were so good that they got better opportunities," Clark said. "There's something to stability and continuity. By no means is that a shot at Scott or Chris, but if I can get Tim for three or five years instead of two, there's something to be said for that. The more you can keep people and you're not starting over every year or two, the better."
Landis said he felt fortunate to land the Lycoming job last year when his family moved back to Lewisburg. He didn't want to have a long commute to coach football, and he didn't want to live somewhere else during the week and travel home on weekends.
He was happy to move back to Lewisburg so his wife, Karen, could take the job as associated director of athletics and recreation services at Bucknell. His family had spent his entire career making their living choices based on his job.
"We finally made a move based on her job and where she was in her career," Landis said. "I was fine with that. There were limited opportunities in coaching around here. There's not as many college football programs around. For this job to become available eight months after moving back to the area is a blessing."