PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

James Franklin Begins to Assemble Staff

Update (3:46 p.m.): Pete Roussel of www.coachingsearch.com is reporting that Vanderbilt defensive line coach Sean Spencer will join Franklin’s staff at Penn State.

Less than 48 hours after landing in Happy Valley, Penn State’s new head coach James Franklin began to assemble his coaching staff, according to multiple reports published Sunday.

Franklin will bring a bevy of people from his staff at Vanderbilt to Happy Valley according to StateCollege.com’s Mike Poorman: defensive coordinator/safeties Bob Shoop, director of performance enhancement Dwight Galt, offensive recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach Josh Gattis, and special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Charles Bankins. Pete Roussel also reported that chief-of-staff Jemal Griffin and assistant coach/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Brent Pry will join Franklin.

Under Shoop and Pry’s tutelage, the Commodore’s “Black Death” defense — a nickname coined by Shoop — went from one of the worst in America prior to his arrival to a solid-yet-unspectacular unit. Last year, the Commodores had 18 interceptions, allowed 24.6 points per game, and racked up 28.0 sacks. Those marks were 13th, 46th, and 28th nationally, respectively.

Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Shoop spent time as a defensive coordinator and/or secondary coach at Northeastern, Yale, Villanova, Army, Boston College, UMass, and William & Mary. Shoop was also the head coach at Columbia from 2003-05, where he compiled a 7-23 record.

Pry is an Altoona native, who was then outside linebackers and defensive backs coach at East Stroudsburg when Franklin was the school’s quarterback. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Pry was a defensive coach for East Stroudsburg, Virginia Tech, Western Carolina, Louisiana-Lafayette, Memphis, and Georgia Southern.

Gattis and Bankins were both instrumental in Vanderbilt’s offensive game plan last season. The two, armed with first-team All American wide receiver Jordan Matthews, helped give Vanderbilt the nation’s 67th best passing attack in America at 227.5 yards per game in 2013. Gattis is the only coach that Franklin is bringing to Happy Valley that wasn’t on Franklin’s original staff at Vanderbilt.

Griffin and Franklin both worked on Maryland’s staff prior to their arrival to Nashville — Franklin was the school’s offensive coordinator, while Griffin was the operations director of the Terps’ football team. Griffin oversaw day-to-day operations of the football program at both schools. He was also Maryland’s assistant recruiting coordinator in 2006-07.

Galt will replace former strength and condition coach Craig Fitzgerald. The two have a history together — Fitzgerald was Galt’s star pupil at Maryland from 2000-2005, and Galt’s son, Dwight IV, was a member of Fitzgerald’s staff at Penn State and will reportedly join Fitzgerald’s staff in Houston.

There are still several more positions on Franklin’s staff that need to be filled, and the role of guys like longtime Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson are still unknown, but we’ll will keep you updated as more coaching hires come in.

About the Author

Comments

State College Links
More by Bill

Mute Cities Is Not Your Average State College Band

The men of Mute Cities don’t want to be the usual, run-of-the-mill bar band. They have aspirations beyond State College, not wanting to be stuck in the trap of being a band that never gets out of Happy Valley.

Penn State is Awesome, Take Advantage of That: Bill DiFilippo’s Senior Column

Penn State Students Tailgate a Final

Athletics

Big Ten Announces 2018-2019 In-Conference Hoops Matchups

The 2018-2019 season will feature a 20-game in conference schedule for the first time.

From Manager To Walk On: Penn State Softball’s Ashton Mensinger Enjoying Unexpected Opportunity

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Maryland 13-8

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse’s Ryan Keenan Selected In MLL Draft

Penn State Baseball Snaps Eleven-Game Losing Streak Against Mount St. Mary’s

Student Life

Homecoming 2018 Logo Revealed

The Homecoming Executive Committee revealed the Homecoming 2018 logo at halftime of the Blue-White game.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

Creamery ‘Brew And White’ Iced Coffee Now Available

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Blue Beats White 21-10 In Penn State’s Spring Scrimmage

Mac Hippenhammer’s two-touchdown performance highlighted a Blue team victory Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Send this to a friend