Franklin bringing in new OC from Texas


From Mirror reports

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State has a new offensive coordinator.

James Franklin announced Friday a coaching staff change with the hiring of Mike Yurcich as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and the departure of Kirk Ciarrocca.

A press release was issued Friday morning. Franklin called the choice to let Ciarrocca go after one season “difficult.”

“I would like to thank Kirk for his contributions to our program last year,” Franklin said. “This was a difficult decision, but I felt it was best for our program to make a change. We wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”

That said, Franklin added, “We are excited to have Mike join our staff. He is an impressive offensive mind and talented playcaller who has set records everywhere he has been as an offensive coordinator. I look forward to seeing what he can do with all of the offensive weapons we have here at Penn State.”

Yurcich (pronounced YER-sitch) will be the Lions’ third offensive coordinator in three seasons and the fifth in eight seasons under Franklin.

Ciarrocca spent one season with the Lions after replacing Ricky Rahne, who became the head coach at Old Dominion.

Rahne was the offensive coordinator after Joe Moorhead, who left after two years to become the head coach at Mississippi State.

John Donovan was dismissed after serving as OC in Franklin’s first two seasons after relocating with him from Vanderbilt.

Yurcich, 45, brings 22 years of collegiate coaching experience, including 15 as an offensive coordinator. He spent last season at Texas as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach but became available following the dismissal of Longhorns’ head coach Tom Herman.

Yurcich served as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State in 2019, when he coached Justin Fields and contributed to the Buckeyes’ 13-1 record.

In his career as an FBS offensive coordinator, Yurcich’s offenses have averaged 6.49 yards per play, which ranks first among offensive coordinators since 2013 and 14.03 yards per completion, which is first among Power Five OCs in that timeframe.

Since 2013, Yurcich’s offenses have scored 50 or more points 26 times and 40 or more points 51 times (50 percent of games coached), both of which are tops among FBS offensive coordinators since 2013. His teams average 61.5 touchdowns per year.

Under Yurcich’s guidance, the Longhorns ranked eighth in FBS in scoring offense (42.7 ppg), 16th in passing efficiency (156.2) and 19th in total offense (475.4 ypg).

Yurcich was the architect of one of Oklahoma State’s greatest offensive eras as the program averaged 38.0 points and 478.3 yards per game in his six-year stint as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2013-18. OSU scored 40 or more points 35 times and 50 or more points 15 times under Yurcich.

The 2017 Oklahoma State offense featured 4,000-yard passer Mason Rudolph, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Yurcich served as the offensive coordinator for two seasons (2011-12) at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania. In his first season, the Raiders set numerous program records, including points scored, touchdowns and total offense.

In 2012, Shippensburg led NCAA Division II in total offense (529.2 ypg) and was second in scoring offense (46.9 ppg) and passing yards per game (387.7 ypg). Under Yurcich’s tutelage, quarterback Zach Zulli won the 2012 Harlon Hill Trophy as the top player in Division II. Zulli tied the NCAA Division II record with 54 passing scores.

“I have followed Mike’s career for a long time, dating back to his time in the PSAC at Shippensburg and Edinboro,” Franklin said. “We look forward to bringing Mike and his family back to Pennsylvania.”

A native of Euclid, Ohio, Yurcich also coached for six seasons at Edinboro University.

He is a 1999 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, where Yurcich earned his bachelor’s in psychology.

Yurcich and his wife Julie, have two sons, Jack and Clay, and one daughter, Maria.

He thanked Penn State for the opportunity.

“I’d like to thank James Franklin, Sandy Barbour and President Eric Barron for the opportunity to be the offensive coordinator at Penn State,” said Yurcich. “Having spent 11 years in the state of Pennsylvania as a player and coach, I understand the significance of this duty and will represent properly and with humble pride.”


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