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Penn State Hires Minnesota’s Kirk Ciarrocca As Offensive Coordinator

It seems like James Franklin must’ve liked what he saw from Minneota’s offense when Tanner Morgan, Rashod Bateman, and Tyler Johnson shredded his secondary in Penn State’s loss to the Gophers last month.

Kirk Ciarrocca is leaving Minnesota to serve as Penn State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the spots left vacant by Ricky Rahne when he took the head coaching job at Old Dominion, the team announced Thursday. The Pioneer Press first reported it a few hours before Penn State’s announcement.

“We couldn’t be more excited to bring in someone of Kirk’s caliber to our Penn State football family,” Franklin said in a release. “He is a veteran coordinator who also has deep Pennsylvania roots and ties. His most recent successes as an offensive coordinator caught our eye. What impressed me most about Kirk in the hiring process was his humility and his willingness to make this an easy transition for our players. We are thrilled to welcome Kirk and his family home to Pennsylvania and to Happy Valley!”

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to work at a program as rich in tradition as Penn State University,” Ciarrocca said in the release. “It is an honor and a privilege to join Coach Franklin’s staff and to work alongside such a successful head football coach. Having grown up a Penn State fan, I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your offensive coordinator. My family and I are overjoyed to be coming home to Happy Valley.”

Ciarrocca had previously worked with Gopher head coach PJ Fleck dating back to their days at Western Michigan together. However, as of late, he had recently been a popular target among top Power Five teams seeking a new offensive coordinator. He’s a native of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, so the decision to come east certainly makes sense for him.

At Minnesota, Ciarrocca helped oversee the program’s turnaround from a divided, mediocre, and forgettable Big Ten West opponent to a team that had a direct shot at the College Football Playoff in mid-November before falling apart in the closing weeks of the season. Under Ciarrocca, the Gophers’ offense skyrocketed from 22 points per game when he and Fleck arrived to 34.3 this season.

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About the Author

Anthony Colucci

Anthony Colucci was once Onward State’s managing editor and preferred walk-on honors student who majored in psychology and public relations. Despite being from the make-believe land of Central Jersey, he was never a Rutgers fan. If you ever want to know how good Saquon Barkley's ball security is, ask Anthony what happened when he tried to force a fumble at the Mifflin Streak. If you want to hear the story or are bored and want to share prequel memes, follow @_anthonycolucci on Twitter or email him at [email protected] All other requests and complaints should be directed to Onward State media contact emeritus Steve Connelly.

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