It's all just part of the (next) plan: Alum returns to Bloomsburg to help Huskies succeed

By Andrea O'Neill '06

While it may have taken a few extra years, Ed Coar found his niche at Bloomsburg State College. After a professional career that included 24 years as a county planning director, he is helping fellow Huskies find their niche, too.

While it may have taken a few extra years, Ed Coar found his niche at Bloomsburg State College. After a professional career that included 24 years as a county planning director, he is helping fellow Huskies find their niche, too.

Coar chose BSC by reputation through his high school teachers who were Bloom grads, and enrolled to be a social studies teacher without ever visiting

campus. It wasn't long, however, until Coar went through a period of "soul searching." He left BSC in 1974 but returned two years later after a new major in urban and regional planning was added. Coar was one of the first five graduates from the major in 1978.

"I'd like to say I spent most of the 1970s in college," joked Coar. "I consider myself very lucky, and a lot of it is because of Bloomsburg."

Coar spent his first professional years with the Wayne County Department of Planning with a fellow Bloom alum. He later moved to private consulting

Ed Coar '78 with BU basketball player.

before returning to Wayne County as planning director in 1990, where he remained until his retirement as Director of Planning & GIS in 2014. It was then that Coar gradually reconnected with his alma mater, attending football and basketball games. As he describes it, "one thing led to another," and he started helping fellow Huskies begin their next climb.

"At the time, I didn't have any plans to get involved with BU or the Alumni Association. It just gradually developed and grew into something bigger. It was unofficial networking of sorts."

Now, Coar frequently helps students navigate their career path as a resume reviewer and mock interviewer during the Career Intensive Boot Camp, as a judge during the College of Science and Technology scholarship and research day, and as a panelist at their Career Pathways event. Coar also assists students with resume & cover letter reviews through the Career Intensive Boot Camp and Husky Student Leadership Summit.

"Participating in these events and helping students is very rewarding. Students need the tweaks for their resume to stand out to an employer; It certainly would have helped me. Getting alumni involved in professional development is a great asset to students."

Press Enterprise photo featuring Ed Coar '78

Coar's involvement did not stop at professional development. He has also tutored student-athletes and is an annual contributor to Scholar-Athletes scholarships. He also spent many hours in the university archives researching material to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the men's basketball team. In fact, he spent so much time on campus that he moved to Bloomsburg part-time in 2019.

"I don't think you can have a bad experience in helping people," explained Coar. "If you have a desire to help people and you want to give back to BU, don't be afraid to get in touch with the Alumni Association because there's always a need."
 

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