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The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


For the Love of the Game

A new face on the Gannon football staff, Tony Caljean looks to help improve on last year’s success.
Donny Marcus, The Gannon Knight New Football coach

September 15, 2023/12am 


Erie, Pa., -– The sport of football can change lives. Depending on who you ask, this can be for the better or the worse. However, most can agree that football is a life-changing sport. Many football players play so hard on the field because that might very well, be their last play on the field.  

This sad but humbling truth is presented to a lot of young players who are left with nothing but memories and aches. For the new Gannon Linebacker Coach and Special Teams Coordinator, Tony Caljean, this was his life.  

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Caljean was brought into the program in early May 2023. In the cutthroat business that is college coaching, Caljean has gone through his share of trials and tribulations to be where he is now. After finishing a promising career at Lafayette College, Caljean thought his life was headed in the direction of law and began interning with congressmen, however, his true passion went beyond any office building. 

“That internship was the most boring part of my day, but the best part of my day was when I got off to go and train for my season,” Caljean stated. 

Caljean just felt a gravitation towards football and knew there was something that he could do to stay involved in the sport that he loves. This internal love for the sport eventually led him to Bethel College in Tennessee where he would soon meet long-time Gannon defensive coach—now Co-Defensive Coordinator— Thomas Pearson.  

However, this newfound friendship did not lead right to Gannon. Instead, coach Caljean moved to a small Division-III program right outside of Philadelphia named Franklin & Marshall College, where he got his first chance to become an integral part of the team in the defensive coordinator position.  

At this small program, Caljean says that he “found a new love for the game” and that this was where his wanting to be a coach was solidified.  

In the coaching world, jobs come and go. Some would call coaching a profession of rolling stones, and for Caljean this proved to be true. After just a couple of seasons with Franklin & Marshall, Caljean bounced around multiple schools until landing at Whittier College in Los Angeles. Along the way, he learned a lot about what it took to be a college coach through trial and error. 

“I’ve felt that I’ve kind of had to be my own mentor.” 

With a thirst for knowledge and a goal of moving up in the coaching world, Caljean proved himself to be worthy and other coaches around the nation took notice. When a spot opened at Gannon for a linebacker coach and special team’s coordinator, he knew it was a must.  

With his ideas and Head Coach Erik Raeburn’s vision, Caljean truly believes he can make an impact here at Gannon. He and the team look to try and further the success that was achieved last year, and hopefully bring Gannon a PSAC title. 

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