Penn State Head Coach James Franklin has parted ways with Offensive Coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca. The former offensive coordinator was with the Nittany Lions for one season. After a season that did not see any offensive growth, Franklin moved on from the coach officially Friday. Penn State hires Mike Yurcich. Here is what we know about the new hire.
Penn State Hires Mike Yurcich
The Nittany Lions will have a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when the players come back for Spring practice. Yurcich has extensive experience working with quarterbacks and has ties to Pennsylvania. Both things that will help him at Penn State.
Where He Came From
Yurcich comes to Penn State after serving one year as the offensive coordinator at the University of Texas. He was part of the staff that was let go with the firing of head coach Tom Herman in Austin. Before taking a job with the Longhorns, Yurcich was the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Ohio State in 2019. From 2013 to 2018, he was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State University. He also brings extensive Pennsylvania experience. Yurcich played football at California University of Pennsylvania and then coached at Edinboro for six seasons before spending two more at Shippensburg.
What He Brings To The Nittany Lions
Yurcich brings experience with explosive offenses and talented quarterbacks that is much needed at Penn State. He has coached elite quarterbacks such as Mason Rudolph (Pittsburgh Steelers back up quarterback), Justin Fields (Ohio State), and Sam Ehlinger (Texas). All three have different strengths and Yurcich was able to bring the best out in all three. Ehlinger had a particularly efficient season at Texas. In three fewer games than 2019, the senior quarterback threw for 26 touchdowns and only five interceptions. In 13 games in 2019 the signal caller threw for 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Yurcich didn’t only help improve these quarterbacks, he improved offenses. Texas was ranked eighth in points per game in 2020. In addition, the Longhorns finished 27th in passing offense and 37th in rushing. It will be interesting to see what he can do with the loaded backfield for Penn State and the talented receiving group. Sean Clifford will likely be the one to improve the most under Yurcich, but we will have to wait and see.