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Ty Howle Ready To Fulfill ‘Ultimate Goal’ As Penn State Football Coach

Penn State football tight ends coach Ty Howle is excited to shine in his new role for the Nittany Lions, to say the absolute least.

After serving as an offensive analyst for James Franklin’s squad in 2020, Howle was promoted to this new role earlier this month following Tyler Bowen’s departure. Even before that, though, Howle played center for the Nittany Lions and served as captain during his final season in Happy Valley in 2013.

Following a rock-solid 2013 campaign up front, Howle was awarded the Maginnis Memorial Award, which Penn State gives out each year to an outstanding senior offensive lineman.

“The reason I came back here was for an opportunity like this,” Howle said Tuesday. “When I left Penn State as a player, it was always my goal to get back here as a coach. When I got into [coaching], this was my ultimate goal, to get back to a place that gave me so much. This is home for me.”

Howle added that even as an offensive analyst this past season, he made sure to prepare every day like he was one of the position coaches.

“I think that ultimately helped me succeed and get the tight ends job here,” Howle said.

While Howle is clearly a young coach, he impressed as the play-caller for Western Illinois during the 2018 season and cut his teeth working as a graduate assistant for NC State during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Along with that, there’s no doubt Howle understands the passion and intensity that comes with Penn State’s football program.

The Bunn, North Carolina native stuck with the Nittany Lions through the most tumultuous era in Penn State’s history. After the Jerry Sandusky scandal rocked the program in 2011, Howle played two more seasons at Penn State as the NCAA’s sanctions were levied.

“Going through those times, I think the biggest thing was we all had each other’s backs,” Howle said. “It was a neat time to kind of see that bond of a team come together. I think the biggest thing was we wanted to play for Penn State, and you talk to anybody on any of those teams. We love this place.

“I got to watch from afar obviously the job Coach Franklin and his staff were doing from 2014 on. They did an unbelievable job bringing Penn State back to national prominence,” Howle added.

While he has plenty of pride in those moments several years ago, Howle is excited about the future of this team, specifically his tight ends. While Pat Freiermuth is off to the NFL Draft, young players such as Brenton Strange, Theo Johnson, and Tyler Warren offer high hopes for 2021 and on.

Strange had a nice 2020 campaign, hauling in 17 catches worth 264 yards and two scores while Freiermuth dealt with injury. Johnson and Warren didn’t do as much as freshmen, but there’s no shortage of confidence in the group.

“Brenton Strange did a great job stepping in, Theo [Johnson] as well when Pat left,” Howle said. “[Brenton] has short-area quickness and does some nice things with the ball in his hand. Theo’s a guy who’s looked great through winter workouts so far. Big, long, strong guy that can run and do some explosive things.”

Howle added that Warren has progressed a whole lot at tight end since playing quarterback during his high school days. He described the freshman as “one of the best athletes on the team.”

The new tight ends coach now has a chance to prepare his young group for a highly anticipated 2021 campaign, and one that will start with a bang with a road trip to Wisconsin on September 4. As exciting as that is for Howle, he’s just as happy to be back at his alma mater and be part of such a unified group.

“There’s nothing like a team in life,” Howle said. “I always knew I wanted to be a part of that. When I finished playing, it wasn’t the four-overtime win against Michigan that I missed or remembered the best. It’s the time in the locker room when you’re playing trash can basketball. Being a part of a team is something that I love and is one of the reasons I’m coaching.”

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a junior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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