Sal Sunseri has been around the game of football longer than most current Gator players have been alive. Sunseri started out as Pittsburgh’s defensive line and linebackers coach in 1985 and has been involved in developing young talent ever since.
Before being hired to Dan Mullen’s staff, Sunseri worked as the Oakland Raiders linebackers coach from 2015 to 2017. During his career, Sunseri has groomed future and current NFL talent such as DeMarcus Walker, Mario Edwards Jr., C.J. Moseley, Dont’a Hightower and Courtney Upshaw.
While Sunseri has been in the NFL for the past three seasons, his recruiting prowess was strong as a member of Alabama and Florida State’s staff. He was vital in the recruitment of five-star Cyrus Kouandjio to Alabama and five-star Jalen Ramsey, five-star Josh Sweat and four-star DeMarcus Walker to FSU.
Getting to Gainesville
Sunseri and Mullen have never worked together, but that didn’t stop Mullen from actively pursuing the veteran coach. Sunseri’s history with new Gators defensive coordinator Todd Grantham made the hook-up possible.
"The relationship I had with Coach [Todd] Grantham has been pretty unique. We’ve always been close,” Sunseri said. “We have a place at the lake, where he has a house and I have a house and we always shared ideas. When this opportunity came up, and you know, being out there with the Raiders and what went down with the Raiders, he called me. When you get an opportunity to come to the University of Florida, I believe you have to take that opportunity, because there are some outstanding tradition here. They’ve won national championships. I’m blessed enough to have three of those rings on my finger and it’s not enough, so I want to have a chance to do that. Mullen has two rings on that finger. To come back here, to go to a great place, a great institution, and get a chance to win a national championship, that’s what it’s all about.”
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