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Limegrover won’t return at PSU

Penn State is looking for a new offensive line coach after announcing Tuesday that Matt Limegrover’s contract will not be renewed.

Limegrover spent the past four seasons with the Nittany Lions after joining the program from Minnesota.

“We appreciate all of Matt’s contributions to our program for the last four seasons. We wish Matt and his family all the best in the future,” PSU coach James Franklin said in a university statement.

The move comes as a bit of a surprise, at least from a timing standpoint, given that the Lions just ran for a school bowl record 396 yards in their 53-39 Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis. Journey Brown set the program’s individual bowl record with 202 yards rushing.

The offensive line has struggled for a good bit of Limegrover’s tenure, although it did play better this season and returns all but one starter (Steven Gonzalez) next year.

Penn State is bringing in a new offensive coordinator, Kirk Ciarrocca, from Minnesota. It’s unclear if that has anything to do with the decision to move on from Limegrover in any way.

There was wide speculation Tuesday that one factor in the Limegrover move could have something to do with tight ends coach Tyler Bowen, who served as interim offensive coordinator and called plays in the Cotton Bowl.

Franklin is very high on Bowen, who could be in line to become the next offensive line coach. Bowen was an offensive lineman at Maryland when Franklin was an assistant there, and he’s considered an up-and-comer as an assistant coach.

In order to keep Bowen, Franklin may feel the need to give him a more lucrative position than tight ends coach. This is what Franklin had to say about Bowen after the Cotton Bowl:

“He’s part of my family, and I think he’s got a bright future. So I hope he stays in Happy Valley and with us and with me for a very, very long time.

“His presence, I thought he did a great job all week of really leading the group. His presence to get up in front of the group and talk about our plan and do it with conviction to get great ideas from everybody in the room and come up with a plan that we had a lot of confidence in.”

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