Alex Pechin
Two-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Alex Pechin ’20 employs his science knowhow when perfecting his punts.
Getting His Kicks
by Andrew Faught

Get ready for some fancy footwork this fall, Bison football fans: Punter and two-time Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Alex Pechin ’20 plans to harness his engineering prowess to drive his team to victory.

“Being able to understand biomechanics and physics is pretty important in punting, especially with your leg swing and how you make contact with the ball,” says the dual major in biomedical engineering and management for engineers. “If it’s windy, you know you’re going to have to hold the ball differently. A lot of things really make sense when you think about them in terms of physics.”

Pechin, named to four Preseason All-America First Teams, is considered one of the best punters in program history. He holds the school record in career punting average (43.7 yards), and — at 71 yards and 70 yards — he struck the third- and fifth-longest punts in school history.

After last season, Pechin was named a 2018 Associated Press FCS Second Team All-American. While punting often lack the glamour of other positions, Pechin approaches his job knowing that, through finesse and power, as opposed to violent hits, he can change the outcome of a game.

“It’s an extremely important position,” he says. “If you pin a team close to their end zone, the chances of them scoring on that drive are exponentially lower. You can also get your offense out of a hole.”

Pechin has been playing football since he was 9. But it was the powerful arm he developed during his high school quarterback days in Kennett Square, Pa., that propelled his teams across the gridiron. While his dad taught Pechin the art of kicking and punting, it wasn’t until he got to Bucknell that coaches saw Division 1 potential in his explosive right leg.

Rivaling Pechin’s love of the game is his passion for mathematics. He chose Bucknell for its intensive five-year engineering and management program. While he would love to play football professionally, Pechin has a Plan B: working for a company that makes medical devices. He’s completed two internships, and it’s a calling that could pay dividends for athletes and lay people alike.

“In almost every surgery nowadays, there’s some sort of medical device being employed,” Pechin says. “Being part of that and understanding that what you do is going to end up helping people is hugely appealing.”

But first, there is Pechin’s final season, in which the Bison will have a leg up on the competition.

“I’m feeling really good about the team,” he says. “We’ve made a lot of improvements, and everybody is buying into what we’re trying to bring.”

Photo: Jon Lambert
Instant Replay
Greatest career highlight
Booting a 71-yard punt that went out of bounds at the 1-yard-line against Villanova last year.
Balancing Football and Studies
“It is a challenge at times, but it has taught me how to plan and organize my week to make the most efficient use of the time I have.”
Finding Motivation
“It’s reminding myself about my goals and constantly having a chip on my shoulder to push me to compete.”
For Pechin, “having a mentality to compete and reach your goals is constant throughout both spectrums.” The game has taught him the value of building relationships with people from all backgrounds.