Meet the Penn State staff: Special teams coordinator Charles Huff

Hometown: Denton, Md.

Family: Single

Education: Bachelors in physical education, Hampton University

Playing experience: played tight end, fullback, center and guard, team captain in 2005 for Hampton

Coaching experience: 2006: Tennessee State, offensive line; 2007-08: Tennessee State, tight ends/special teams; 2009: Maryland, assistant offensive line coach; 2010: Hampton, offensive line; 2011: Vanderbilt, assistant special teams coordinator; 2012: Buffalo Bills, assistant running backs; 2013: Western Michigan, running backs; 2014: Penn State, special teams coordinator/running backs

Why did you get into coaching?: “One, I like to teach, but I learned very, very early in my college career of student teaching that I probably didn’t want to get into the public school sector. I don’t know if I have that kind of patience. I also like to motivate young men. I love to see young men mature and walk away here with a degree. They can look back and say, ‘Coach, you helped me become a man.’ That’s what I love about coaching.”

What is your primary coaching philosophy?: “I want to help young men maximize the opportunity that they’ve gotten in football so that now they can use that to control their lives. The thing is, God’s blessed them to be playing football wherever they’re playing. I want them to learn what to take from that opportunity and do what they want to do versus forcing them to do it. That could be the NFL, or it could be graduating with a degree and having a family. Whatever it is, I want them to know to have control in their life rather than having someone telling them what to do.”

What do you enjoy most about being at Penn State?: “The fans are awesome. Of course you love the players, you’re with them every day. But the love for this place that the fans have after all that they’ve been through makes you want to get up, come to work and get better. They deserve more. They deserve a national championship. They deserve a Big Ten championship. It may take a little longer than they think; we’ve got some work to do. But they deserve it. Their commitment to this program over the years, good and bad, up and down, has been unbelievable. We really appreciate it.”

What is your best memory or story about James Franklin?: “The very first time I met him was at a camp about nine years ago. He walked up to me, smacked me on the back and said, ‘Hey, how you doing?’ He didn’t know who I was. We ended up hanging out that night and talking. It ended up being a great relationship as he is a great mentor in my life. His openness to come up and joke with a person he doesn’t even know is probably my best memory.”

– Compiled by Kristen Nelson