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Penn State Football Hires Mike Yurcich As Offensive Coordinator

Penn State football head coach James Franklin has officially hired former Texas offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich to fill the same role in Happy Valley, the team announced Friday.

In turn, offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca won’t return. He was hired out of Minnesota shortly after the 2019 season and let go following a disappointing nine-game season.

“First, I would like to thank Kirk for his contributions to our program last year,” Franklin said. “This was a difficult decision, but felt it was best for our program to make a change. We wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”

Yurcich, meanwhile, brings a wealth of experience to Penn State. He’s racked up 22 total years of collegiate coaching experience and spent 15 seasons as an offensive coordinator. Last year, he served as both the Longhorns’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

“We are excited to have Mike join our staff. He is an impressive offensive mind and talented play-caller who has set records everywhere he has been as an offensive coordinator,” Franklin said. “I look forward to seeing what he can do with all of the offensive weapons we have here at Penn State. I have followed Mike’s career for a long time, dating back to his time in the PSAC at Shippensburg and Edinboro. We look forward to bringing Mike and his family back to Pennsylvania.”

Yurcich is no stranger to the Keystone State. He previously spent two seasons as Shippensburg’s offensive coordinator and played quarterback at the California University of Pennsylvania in the late 90s. Naturally, he believes his Pennsylvania connections should serve him well in Happy Valley.

“Having spent 11 years in the state of Pennsylvania as a player and coach, I understand the significance of this duty and will represent properly and with humble pride,” Yurcich said.

The Euclid, Ohio native is also well-versed in the Big Ten. He spent the 2019 season as Ohio State’s passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach and the 2003 and 2004 seasons as a graduate assistant in Indiana. Yurcich has also spent time at Oklahoma State.

In his FBS coaching career, Yurcich’s offenses have averaged 6.49 yards per play, which ranks first among offensive coordinators since 2013. His teams’ 14.03 yards per completion ranks highest among Power Five coordinators as well.

Need more reasons to be excited? Yurcich’s former programs averaged 61.9 touchdowns per season, while Penn State scored just 32 rushing or passing touchdowns in 2020. He dialed up only three goal-line fades compared to the Nittany Lions’ eight this season.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt is a junior majoring in journalism and Onward State's managing editor. He's a huge Philadelphia sports fan, fantasy football aficionado, and washed-up drummer hailing from Collegeville, Pa. The quickest way to his heart is Margherita pizza. He loves Seinfeld, is really into video games, and would wipe the floor with you in Halo. Follow him on Twitter @mattdisanto_ for bad sports takes or email him at [email protected]

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