Penn State Football announces major coaching change

Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports)
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin (Mandatory Credit: Matthew OHaren-USA TODAY Sports) /

The busy offseason for Penn State Football gets even wilder as James Franklin has announced a coaching change on the offensive side of the ball.

Penn State Football announced a major coaching change Friday, offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca is out, Mike Yurcich is in as the new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Yurcich has been the mastermind behind some of the most explosive offenses in college football over the past few years, as most recently he served as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Texas under head coach Tom Herman. Before that, Yurcich spent a year at Ohio State, serving as quarterbacks coach for Justin Field’s first year in Columbus. HIs first big time power five gig however, came at Oklahoma State working under head coach Mike Gundy, where he was the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2013 to 2018.

The move comes as a surprise as now former play caller Kirk Ciarrocca was Franklin’s big hire last offseason, poaching him from PJ Fleck and the Minnesota. Penn State football’s offense ranked second in the Big Ten this past season in yards per game (430) while averaging almost 30 points per game, also good for second in the conference.

However, it appears Franklin was unhappy with the scheme or the fit and has shown in the past he is not afraid to be aggressive with coaching changes, wanting to get the guy he wants in there.

Yurich will be the fifth offensive coordinator during Franklin’s Tenure, and third in as many years as Ricky Rahne called the plays in 2019 and left to be the head coach at Old Dominion, opening the door for Ciarrocca.

Last season, as the play caller at Texas, Yurich’s offense ranked second to only Oklahoma in yards per game and points per game in the Big 12. Franklin is hoping he can bring that type of explosive offense with him to Happy Valley next fall.