UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) – Following Saturday’s loss to the Wolverines, Penn State cut ties with offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich after three seasons.
Yurcich’s offense ranked second in the Big Ten this season but only scored three touchdowns against conference rivals Ohio State and Michigan.
“This was my decision,” Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin said.
Franklin, who is 4-16 against Michigan and Ohio State as Penn State’s head coach, emphasized needing to play well against the team’s toughest opponents.
“The reality is we can’t afford not to be thriving in every single one of those areas to be able to beat the people that we need to beat on a consistent basis,” Franklin added.
“This is a place that’s got very, very high expectations and standards,” Franklin said.
Franklin has now cycled through five different offensive coordinators in his 10 years, including firing each of the last two. Now, he is looking to find his next one “sooner rather than later.”
“I already have a list. It’s (just) narrowing it down,” Franklin said.
Running backs coach Ja’Juan Sieder and tight ends coach Ty Howle will take over the offensive coordinator responsibilities and share a role in play calling. Franklin adds that he’ll have a “presence” with calling plays.
“(Sieder and Howle are) doing a really good job right now. I’ve been pleased,” Franklin added. “I think we’re a little bit more collaborative right now than what we’ve been here recently.”
Penn State is set to face off against Rutgers, and former Nittany Lions offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, on Saturday at 12 p.m.