Penn State Football: Nittany Lions finalize 2014 coaching staff

Penn State head football coach James Franklin announced the entirety of his first coaching staff with the Nittany Lions on Friday, one that includes extensive collegiate experience as well as strong ties to his former staff at Vanderbilt.

Franklin’s first Penn State staff is quite similar to the ones that brought him success over the past few seasons with the Commodores. Seven members of his old staff with the Commodores will be joining Franklin as he takes over in Happy Valley.

The 2014 Penn State football coaching staff is as follows:

– James Franklin, head coach;
– Bob Shoop, defensive coordinator/safeties coach;
– John Donovan, offensive coordinator/tight ends coach;
– Charles Huff, special teams coordinator/running backs coach;
– Brent Pry, assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach;
– Josh Gattis, offensive recruiting coordinator/wide receivers coach;
– Herb Hand, run game coordinator/offensive line coach;
– Ricky Rahne, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach;
– Terry Smith, defensive recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks coach;
– Sean Spencer, defensive line coach.

In addition, Franklin announced that Dwight Galt has been named Director of Performance Development and will head the program’s strength and conditioning regimen. Barry Gant Jr. and Chuck Losey have been named assistant strength and conditioning coaches, joining Brian Bell and Dwight son, Dwight Galt IV, who have been on the staff since 2012.

“I am very pleased to bring to Penn State a staff of great family men, tremendous teachers and developers of talent, and the most aggressive recruiting staff in the country!” said Franklin during the press conference Friday.

John Donovan PSU

John Donovan, offensive coordinator.

John Donovan will run the offense for the Nittany Lions, who expects to run a pro-style offense that will provide players with a chance to execute concepts seen at the NFL level on a daily basis. His offense produced a Vanderbilt school-record 4,936 total yards in 2012, and scored 30 points per game in back-to-back seasons from 2012-2013. Donovan worked with Franklin at Maryland in two stints, 2001-2004 and from 2008-2010. Donovan hails from River Edge, NJ, and is entering his 18th season coaching.

Bob Shoop PSU

Bob Shoop, defensive coordinator.

Bob Shoop will handle the defense for the Nittany Lions, as he’s done for the past three seasons at Vanderbilt under Franklin. Under Shoop’s direction, the Commodores finish the past three years in the nation’s top 25 in total defense: 18th (2011), 19th (2012) and 23rd (2013). His 2012 Commodore defense held opponents to just 18.7 points per game, the lowest mark for the team since 1997. Shoop hails from Oakmont, Pa, and brings 25 years of collegiate coaching experience to Happy Valley.

(In-depth bios for all nine members of the new coaching staff can be found here)

With his coaching staff now firmly in place, Franklin can push forward on the recruiting trail and toward National Signing Day (February 5th) with an eye on the Blue/White Spring game that is just 77 days away.