Franklin Announces Coaching Staff

Story posted January 24, 2014 in Sports, CommRadio by Joe Garofalo

On Friday January 24, 2014 Penn State head football coach James Franklin announced the members of his first coaching staff at Penn State.

When introducing his staff Franklin stated he believed he had “the most aggressive recruiting staff in America.”

The staff is comprised of nine men, seven of which were members of Franklin’s staff at Vanderbilt the last two years.

John Donovan will be coming to Penn State with Franklin to fill the same role he held at Vanderbilt, offensive coordinator. Last season Vanderbilt’s offense scored 30.1 points per game, a program record. Donovan will also serve as the team’s tight ends coach.

Pennsylvania native Bob Shoop was announced as the defensive coordinator and safeties coach for the Nittany Lions. In each of his three years at Vanderbilt, the Commodore defense finished ranked inside the nation’s top 25 in total defense. During the press conference Shoop stated the three core values of his defense are “passion, toughness, and team.”

Joining Donovan on the offensive staff is Charles Huff, Josh Gattis, Herb Hand and Ricky Rahne.

Huff will serve as both the team’s running backs coach and special teams coordinator. When speaking about his special teams unit Huff stated, “it’ll be the first fast-paced, no huddle special teams you see.”

Huff later compared the style of the unit to a great white shark by saying, “We’ll attack, and attack and attack.”

Wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator Josh Gattis will be entering his third season working under James Franklin. The former All-ACC safety spent the last two seasons working closely with the Southeastern Conference’s all-time leader in yards and receptions, Jordan Matthews.

Herb Hand joins the Nittany Lions after coaching the offensive line at Vanderbilt the last four seasons. Hand brings with him twenty-four years of coaching experience and will continue to coach offensive lineman at Penn State.

Ricky Rahne will coach the quarterbacks and serve as passing game coordinator.

Rounding out Shoop’s defensive staff is Brent Pry, Terry Smith and Sean Spencer.

Pry, an Altoona native, is taking over as the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers after starting his 21-year coaching career at East Stroudsburg when James Franklin was the team’s quarterback.

Former Penn State wide receiver Terry Smith comes over from Temple to serve as the defensive recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach for the Nittany Lions.

Sean Spencer, nicknamed “Coach Chaos,” will be the team’s defensive line coach.

In addition to the coaching staff, Franklin also announced that Dwight Galt has been named Director of Performance Enhancement and will supervise the team’s strength and conditioning program.

Joe Garofalo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email

Photo Courtesy: (AP Photo/ John Beale)