Penn State Football will begin the search for a new wide receiver’s coach with the departure of Taylor Stubblefield.
Penn State Football turned some heads within its fanbase on Sunday night with the announcement that Taylor Stubblefield will not return in 2023.
The former Purdue wide receiver had been the wide receivers coach at Penn State for the past three seasons. He was seen as a stabilizing force after the Nittany Lions went through three receiver coaches in a four-year span.
Stubblefield was a quality coach on the field but concerns over recruiting were very real. The Nittany Lions landed just one wide receiver in the 2023 recruiting class and had missed multiple top transfer targets before landing Dante Cephas an hour after Stubblefield’s departure.
With Stubblefield now gone, it’s time to look at some early names that could be linked to the wide receiver coaching position.
Former Penn State football defensive back Calvin Lowry was recently added to the coaching staff after spending the last eight seasons as the wide receiver coach at Tulsa. Lowry’s official role with Penn State is offensive analyst and assistant wide receivers coach. With eight years as the position coach already under his belt, Lowry is certainly qualified for the job. The one thing is, James Franklin likely wouldn’t have hired Lowry to this position if he planned to promote him just two weeks later.
If anything, Lowry may have been brought in with the idea that he could be the man for the wide receivers coaching spot in the future, but maybe not now.
Former Penn State great Bobby Engram is back on the market after not being retained by the new coaching staff at Wisconsin. Engram spent the 2022 season as Wisconsin’s offensive coordinator after being an assistant for the Baltimore Ravens from 2014-2021. Engram was originally the wide receivers coach in Baltimore before moving over to tight ends in 2019. Engram’s relationship with Penn State, along with the fact that he’s now available will mean his name will come up often with this vacancy.
Chris Beatty is the only name on this list that currently has a job as a coach elsewhere. Beatty is the wide receivers coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, but after blowing a 27-point lead in a playoff game, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Chargers front office make some changes, possibly at head coach. That likely means a full staff change for the Chargers. Beatty is an experienced receivers coach who spent a year in that position on James Franklin’s Vanderbilt staff. Beatty’s other stops as a receivers coach include Wisconsin, Maryland and Pitt. If he becomes available in the coming days, Beatty would be towards the top of the board.
Could former Green Bay Packers great Donald Driver be the answer?
Driver’s son Cristian is currently a receiver on Penn State’s roster and Driver was coached by Franklin in Green Bay back in 2007. The two obviously have a good relationship. While Driver would be a splashy hire and could be an elite recruiter thanks to his NFL pedigree, he doesn’t have any coaching experience. It’s unlikely that Frankin would hire a first-time coach when 2023 is arguably his most important season as the head coach of Penn State.
Driver is fun in theory, but not a likely candidate. His name will be tossed around a few times though.