James Frankin, the new head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, officially introduced his coaching staff at a press conference live from Beaver Stadium on Friday. Though many of the names were expected, Franklin had been tight-lipped regarding who would join him in Happy Valley. As expected, his staff features many of the men who were with him when he was the head coach at Vanderbilt.
Highlighting the Penn State coaching are two of Franklin’s best assistant coaches from Vanderbilt. Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and offensive line coach Herb Hand both made no secret of the fact that they were heading to Penn State.
Shoop quickly put a Penn State logo on his Twitter account and has since tweeted several messages about his new school.
Help me out here! How loud can 107,000 maniacs get on the first 3rd Down of the season!! Lemme hear ya. #BUILDINGACHAMPIONSHIPDEFENSE!!
— Bob Shoop (@Coach_ShoopPSU) January 21, 2014
Coach Hand took to Twitter to announce his arrival in State College.
— Herb Hand (@CoachHand) January 22, 2014
Shoop has been a college coach since 1989 and served as defensive coordinator at Villanova and William & Mary before joining Franklin’s staff at Vanderbilt in 2011. Hand, known as one of the better line coaches in the country, had been a coach at West Virginia, Clemson and Tulsa before heading to Vanderbilt.
Franklin kept the Vanderbilt theme going when filling out the rest of his staff, as seven of the spots are filled by former coaches in Nashville.
The two coaches with no affiliation to Franklin’s former school are Terry Smith, a former Temple assistant and Charles Huff, a former assistant at Western Michigan. Smith may prove to be a huge hire for recruiting, as he was one of the best high school coaches in Western Pennsylvania and has many connections to the football hotbed that’s in that part of the state. Smith is also a former wide receiver at Penn State and the stepfather of former defensive back Justin King.
Having the staff finalized now is an important move with National Signing Day coming up. Recruits want to know who their coaches will be, as that can play a major role in their decision. With so many former Vanderbilt coaches now at Penn State, it’s no surprise that five Vanderbilt recruits, who were recruited by Franklin and the other coaches, flipped their commitments and decided to join the Nittany Lions.
Below is a list of Franklin’s entire staff.
John Donovan – Offensive Coordinator/TE Coach
Herb Hand – Offensive Line Coach/run Game Coordinator
Ricky Rahne – Quarterbacks Coach/Passing Game Coordinator
Charles Huff – Special teams coordinator/ Running Backs Coach
Josh Gattis – Wide Receivers Coach/ Offensive Recruiting Coordinator
Bob Shoop – Defensive Coordinator/ Safeties Coach
Brent Pry – Assistant Head Coach/Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach
Sean Spencer – Defensive Line Coach
Terry Smith – Cornerbacks Coach/ Defensive Recruiting Coordinator
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