Penn State assistant coach Sean Spencer is one of the several staff members that followed head coach James Franklin from Vanderbilt to Happy Valley. Spencer faced one of the toughest challenges of the new coaches, as he was the man brought in to replace longtime and beloved defensive line coach Larry Johnson.
Fans were worried when Johnson left Penn State for Ohio State, as he had built a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the Mid-Atlantic Region. However, Spencer has already done a great job recruiting and has quickly settled any worries that fans may have had. Spencer’s most recent is getting a verbal commitment from 4-star defensive lineman Adam McLean.
Spencer brings 18 years of coaching experience to Penn State and has worked on both sides of the ball. He’s developed into a solid defensive coach, coaching that side since 2001. Most recently, he was the defensive line coach from 2011-2013 at Vanderbilt. During those three seasons, the Commodores finished in the Top 25 in total defense. Spencer’s defensive lines played a big role in that, recording 87 sacks.
In 2012, Spencer coached Caleb Azubike, who set a Vanderbilt true freshman record with four sacks in 2012 and was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team.
Before joining Franklin at Vanderbilt, Spencer coached the defensive line at Bowling Green from 2009-10. Aside from coaching the defensive line, Spencer also has experience coaching linebackers, special teams, running backs and he was the passing game coordinator for a while at Trinity College.
From Hartford, Connetticut, Spencer has several ties to the state of Pennsylvania. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Clarion University and was a three-year starter on the football team. Spencer spent time coaching at Shippensburg University and Villanova.
2011-2013 – Vanderbilt (defensive line)
2009-10 – Bowling Green (defensive line)
2007-08 – University of Massachusetts (defensive line, special teams coordinator)
2006 – Hofstra (defensive line)
2005 – Villanova (linebackers)
2004 – College of Holy Cross (defensive line)
2001-03 – University of Massachusetts (defensive line)
1998-2000 – Trinity College (running backs, passing game coordinator, defensive line)
1996-97 – Shippensburg University (running backs)
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