On Wednesday evening, it was first reported by Dorin Dickerson of The Fan Morning Show, that Western Pennsylvania high school coaching legend Bob Palko has accepted a job with the Penn State football team.
Blue White Illustrated’s Sean Fitz reports that Palko will be the director of high school relations for Penn State effective immediately. Palko coached at Allegheny and Mt Lebanon and ended his high school coaching career with a record of 248-87 over 28 seasons to go along with 9 WPIAL titles.
You may ask yourself, what does the director of high school relations do for a division one football program? They help with various camps throughout the offseason, assist with official and non-official on-campus visits, and help out on gameday with recruits visiting PSU. The most important quality they bring to the table is being able to share sound advice with student-athletes.
This is a huge addition to the Penn State staff. Having someone who has been around coaching for as long as Palko, he will be able to give sound advice to the players and help them make the best decision possible.
The other massive win is that Palko is from western PA specifically around the Pittsburgh area. So to be able to pull a guy as talented from the high school ranks to Penn State is a massive win for James Franklin.
A hire like this isn’t going to make or break this season, but if you want to sustain success year over year this is how you do that. Penn State needs a person who can choose the right players for camps, build strong relationships with the players, and be that guiding light as they go through making difficult decisions. Now, the Nittany Lions have a Western PA legend in charge of this very important role. I assume we will see the effects of this hire in the 2024, and 2025 recruiting classes, especially with the in-state recruits.