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Ricky Rahne Named Old Dominion Football’s Head Coach

Update 6:15 p.m.: It’s officially official: Ricky Rahne has been named Old Dominion’s head football coach.

Penn State went 19-6 during Rahne’s two-season tenure as its offensive coordinator, and the team’s offense scored an average of 34.1 points per game. Rahne replaced Joe Moorhead after he took the head coaching job at Mississippi State, and the Nittany Lions will once again have to search for a new offensive coordinator.

“First, I love Ricky and his family. This is a bittersweet moment for our program. I am so incredibly proud of Ricky and I am super excited for him, his family, and Old Dominion,” head coach James Franklin said in a release. “I am forever indebted to Ricky for his loyalty and drive in helping us succeed at Vanderbilt and Penn State. Ricky is a rising star in the industry and is built for this opportunity. He is a smart, open-minded and talented coach. His humble leadership style will resonate well with Old Dominion’s leadership and players.”

Update 6 p.m.: Old Dominion hasn’t made an official announcement regarding Ricky Rahne yet, starting quarterback Sean Clifford posted a tweet thanking the offensive coordinator for his time at Penn State on Monday evening.

“I want to thank Ricky Rahne for everything he has done for me these past few years,” Clifford wrote. “Not only is he a great coach, but [he] has been a great mentor to myself and my teammates. I will miss ya coach! [Old Dominion football] is getting a great one!”

The redshirt sophomore became Penn State’s starting quarterback in Rahne’s second season as offensive coordinator. He threw for 2,521 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six interceptions in 11 games played throughout the 2019 season.

Old Dominion teased a coaching announcement on Twitter by posting a 30-second video.

Original Story: Penn State football offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne appears to be on his way to his first head coaching gig.

Rahne will reportedly take over Old Dominion’s football program, according to multiple reports. The story was first reported by FootballScoop’s Zach Barnett, and insiders like The Athletic‘s Bruce Feldman and Yahoo! Sports’ Pete Thamel also reported the news.

The Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator was linked with Old Dominion’s head coaching job, which was left vacant by Bobby Wilder’s resignation, by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg earlier this week. At the time of publication, neither Penn State nor Old Dominion have made any sort of announcement at this time.

Rahne was Penn State’s quarterbacks coach from 2014 to 2015 before shifting to tight ends in 2016 and 2017. He’s served as the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator since the start of the 2018 season. He stepped into the position after Joe Moorhead took over head coaching duties at Mississippi State, and he’s produced mixed results since then.

The Nittany Lions’ offense seemed to lose confidence after consecutive losses to Ohio State and Michigan State in the 2018 season. It scored at least 45 points in each of its first four games, but Penn State broke 30 points just three times in its final nine contests of the year. The unit did score 30 points on a usually-staunch Iowa defense and 26 against an elite Ohio State program, but its performances against Michigan, Wisconsin, and Rutgers in November were not up to the high-flying standards set during the Nittany Lions’ magical 2016 Big Ten title run.

Penn State’s offense definitely improved in 2019. The Nittany Lions scored at least 17 points in each of their 12 regular season games, and the unit averaged 34.3 points per game — a number that’s half a point higher than their 2018 total. The offense wasn’t perfect — particularly in the passing game, which mostly leaned on star receiver KJ Hamler and tight end Pat Freiermuth — but it definitely showed some progress.

Old Dominion finished the 2019 season with a 1-11 record. Its offense scored just 16.2 points per game, which ranked 127th out of FBS football’s 130 programs. The team posted a 4-8 record in 2018 after finishing the 2017 season with a 5-7 record.

We’ll update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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About the Author

Mikey Mandarino

Mikey is a senior majoring in journalism and Onward State's Sports Editor. He grew up in Bedminster, NJ and is way too obnoxious about all the best things his home state has to offer. Mikey loves to play golf, but he sucks at it because golf is hard. If you're dying to see more hockey/golf content on your timeline, you can follow Mikey on Twitter @mikey_mandarino. Send all hate mail, death threats, and your vote for the best chicken parm in State College to [email protected]


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