Wide receivers coach leaving for WVU
Penn State’s revolving door of offensive assistant coaches continued Friday with the departure of wide receivers coach Gerad Parker, who is leaving to become offensive coordinator at West Virginia.
The move is a big step up for Parker, who spent just one season at Penn State and will become an offensive coordinator for the first time in his career. He did serve as interim head coach at Purdue for six games in 2016 but has been a position coach throughout his career.
“I’m excited to be joining Neal Brown’s staff at West Virginia and becoming a part of the Mountaineer football family,” Parker said in a university statement. “I have known Neal for a long time and have the utmost respect for him as a coach, a man, husband and father. I have seen his progression and have kept up with him as a head coach and know he is special.
“My father worked in a coal mine and in the coal industry, and I have a lot of respect for this state and for what it stands. I am honored and thankful to join this staff and work with these players. I look forward to trusting the climb.”
Parker is the third 2019 offensive assistant coach who will not return next season. Two of them have left for more lucrative jobs — Parker and offensive Ricky Rahne, who’s now the head coach at Old Dominion — while line coach Matt Limegrover’s contract was not renewed.
Penn State hired Kirk Ciarrocca from Minnesota to replace Rahne and Phil Trautwein from Minnesota to replace Limegrover.
With Parker’s departure, Penn State will have a fourth wide receivers coach in four years for the 2020 season. Josh Gattis filled the role in 2017 before leaving for Alabama, then David Corley spent one year at PSU in 2018 before getting fired.
Parker came next, and now coach James Franklin will be looking for someone who can bring some consistency to the role — both in terms of longevity and production.
Penn State’s wide receivers have struggled mightily the past couple of years. The position suffered major problems with drops in 2018, and this past season, KJ Hamler had a big year, but there was a huge dropoff in production from him to everyone else.
Penn State rarely saw turnover with assistant coaches for many years during the Joe Paterno era, but that is no longer the case. Franklin is already on his fourth offensive coordinator and will be on his fourth wide receivers coach in seven years.
Former offensive coordinator John Donovan, who was fired at the end of the 2015 regular season, was named offensive coordinator at Washington on Friday. The move stunned many fans of that program since Donovan did not have success at Penn State and has no ties to the West coast.
Also, former offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead reportedly is the frontrunner to fill the same job at Oregon. Moorhead left PSU to become head coach at Mississippi State, but he was fired this week after two seasons there.