STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WHTM) – Penn State fired its offensive coordinator Coach Mike Yurcich Sunday following the Nittany Lions’ loss to Michigan, making this the fifth offensive coordinator to leave the program since Head Coach James Franklin took over in 2014.
“We appreciate the contributions that Coach [Mike] Yurcich made here,” said Franklin on Sunday. “Obviously, we made a tough decision that we feel like was in the best interest of the program moving forward.”
Franklin noted at Monday’s press conference that Ty Howle and Ja’Juan Seider will be in charge of making game plans and handling the offensive staff.
“They’re doing a really good job right now,” Franklin said. “I’ve been pleased. I think we’re a little bit more collaborative right now than what we have been here recently.”
Franklin also revealed that the firing of Yurcich was mainly his decision.
“This was my decision, but obviously I don’t do anything in a silo,” Franklin said. “I run things up the ladder and have conversations. But, yeah, this was my decision.”
The firing of Yurcich came after Franklin publicly called out the playcalling after the loss to Michigan, saying they failed to get quarterback Drew Allar in a rhythm. On Monday Franklin gave a bigger glimpse at the issues surrounding the offense.
“Whether it’s openers, third down, starting fast, all these things are things that we’ve had lengthy discussions about and had a plan for, but a lot of the times when we got to the games, either we did not call the games that way or we did not execute the games the way we intended them to. Yeah, those things were asked for.”
Franklin said he shared the information about the firing of Yurcich with his quarterbacks and then the rest of the team before releasing any details publicly. Franklin was planning on notifying the players’ parents about the decision, but the news was leaked before the end of practice.
Moving forward Franklin hopes to share information regarding the hiring process of a new offensive coordinator with his team before it is released on social media and other public outlets.
As for the timeline of hiring a new offensive coordinator, it’s complicated. Franklin said he would like to have a hire in place in time for the bowl game (likely late December/early January) and that he’s already got a list of candidates.
“Sooner rather than later, right? It’s hard,” Franklin said. “Hiring someone is like a full-time job. Can’t really have two full-time jobs right now. Most important thing is for us to play well this week and finish the season the right way, and then during that process, be working through, narrowing down a list.”
In regards to the number of offensive coordinators Franklin has been through in his era, he believes it is a part of the college football culture.
“I think if you look at the nature of college football, there is a ton of turnover,” Franklin said.
Penn State will close out its home regular season against Rutgers on Saturday and finish the regular season at Ford Field in Detroit against Michigan State.