Matthew O'Haren- USA TODAY Sports

Hiring of Assistant Coach Terry Smith an Important Move for Penn State

It’s a move that may not make much noise outside of the state of Pennsylvania, but Penn State head coach James Franklin has reportedly made a very important addition to his coaching staff. According to, Franklin has hired former Temple Owls wide receivers coach Terry Smith.

While Smith may not be a huge name among the national coaching ranks, plenty of people in Pennsylvania are familiar with his accomplishments and his connections to an area of the state that is a breeding ground for talented football players. Smith is a native of Western Pennsylvania and the former head coach at Gateway High School in Monroeville, Pa. He played as a wide receiver at Penn State in the early 1990’s and his stepson, Justin King, was a star for the Nittany Lions a few years ago.

Smith has a long history of coaching football in Pennsylvania at both the high school and collegiate level, coaching at Hempfield High School, Gateway, Duquesne and Temple.

As the head coach at Gateway, Smith compiled an overall record of 101-30 over 11 seasons and made the playoffs each year. His teams were WPIAL runner-up four times. He also saw many of his players over that time earn scholarships to Division-I schools.

For whatever reason, Penn State has failed in previous years to really take advantage of the talent pool that’s in Western Pa. The Nittany Lions have watched countless in-state players leave and go to other big-time colleges, including many rival Big Ten schools.

Smith will be a great addition to Franklin’s coaching staff and should be able to use his influence to hopefully start a pipeline from that end of the state to Penn State.

Prior to the hiring of Smith, Franklin had already brought Josh Gattis, his wide receivers coach at Vanderbilt, to coach the position at Penn State. is reporting that Smith will fill the position of cornerbacks coach.

The Nittany Lions needed good news on the coaching front after watching former defensive line coach, and one of the top recruiters on the East Coast, Larry Johnson leave Happey Valley this week  for rival Ohio State.

Stay tuned to VBR for the latest Penn State news regarding the new coaching staff and recruiting.

Follow VBR Lead Editor Barry Leonard Jr. on Twitter


Next Nittany Lions Game Full schedule »
Friday, Oct 2424 Oct7:00Holy Cross CrusadersBuy Tickets

Tags: Football Penn State Nittany Lions Terry Smith

comments powered by Disqus