Fran Ganter -- who spent the last 46 years as a player, coach and administrator at Penn State -- will retire effective Thursday, according to the Penn State athletic department.
Ganter, originally from Bethel Park, played running back for Penn State from 1967 to 1970, competing in two Orange Bowls.
He began coaching after graduation and had the role of offensive coordinator and assistant head coach among others before taking the role of associate athletic director for football administration in 2004.
In the past year and a half he was primarily in the news for his role in delivering the note from the university's Board of Trustees to Joe Paterno on the night he was fired.
During the child sex abuse trial of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, Victim 4 said Ganter, along with former assistants Tom Bradley and Dick Anderson, saw him in the shower with Sandusky.
Ganter's most memorable season as an offensive coordinator came in 1994. Penn State went 12-0, averaging 520.2 yards and 47.8 points per game.
He was named assistant head coach in 2000 and was widely considered the heir-apparent to succeed Paterno if he ever chose to retire.
"I am very proud and thankful to have been a member of the Penn State football family for the past 46 years," Ganter said in a release. " ... I am also thankful for the lifelong friendships I forged with my fellow coaches, as well as the other members of the support staff, through the wins and losses, the up seasons and the downs."
Mark Dent: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @mdent05 First Published February 27, 2013 2:00 PM