Beginning with the removal of former offensive coordinator John Donovan and the instatement of his replacement, Coach Joe Moorhead, the football family is currently in a readjustment phase.
Former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop announced that he is leaving Penn State to take the same title with the Tennessee Vols. Shoop, who was brought with Franklin from Vanderbilt, did a tremendous job in the Franklin era at Penn State. His creative and intuitive abilities allowed him to build up the defensive team both on and off the field.
Shoop will also be missed for his excellent recruiting. Shoop was consistently given some of the most competitive east coast regions as part of his recruiting expanse. His genuine attitude and clear-cut personality made him a powerhouse in solidifying the program’s future through new additions to the team.
Penn State wisely chose to select Shoop’s replacement from an in-house member, Brent Pry. Coach Pry spent five years as co-defensive coordinator under Franklin, but has since been promoted to associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
“Brent has had a dramatic impact on our defense and our team for the last five years and he is very deserving of this opportunity,” Franklin said.
Shortly after the announcement of Shoop’s departure, offensive line coach Herb Hand made the decision to transfer laterally to Auburn. Hand was also an original member of Franlkin’s Vanderbilt staff upon their arrival at Penn State.
Hand’s position was quickly filled by former Minnesota assistant head coach and offensive line coach, Matt Limegrover. Coach Limegrover brings over 25 years of collegiate coaching experience to the Nittany Lions.
Limegrover is a Pittsburgh native who says he is “excited to be coming home.”
“We are really excited to have Matt join our staff,” said Franklin. “He brings a wealth of knowledge and a ton of great experience
Finally, Penn State is losing some standout players as the squad looks ahead to the 2016 season. Running back Akeel Lynch (Ontario, Can.) will transfer for his fifth year of eligibility. Linebacker Troy Reeder (Wilmington, Del.) will be transferring as well, to the University of Delaware. Cornerback Daquan Worley (Coatesville, Pa.). Geno Lewis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) announced he will play for the Oklahoma Sooners next year. Tight end Adam Breneman (Mechanicsburg, Pa.), who was plagued by injuries for most of his collegiate career, announced that he is leaving the team to pursue his academics and professional career as well.
When one door closes, another door opens. This could not be truer for Penn State Football, who has the opportunity to step back, build an incredibly intelligent and skilled staff and team. All of these changes point to a strong start for fall 2016. We Are and Always Will Be!