Ex-Gateway coach Smith joining Penn State staff

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Less than a year after leaving as head coach at Gateway High School, Terry Smith will return to Penn State, his alma mater. Smith has been hired as an assistant on new Penn State coach James Franklin’s staff, a source close to Smith confirmed.

Smith spent the past season as Temple’s wide receivers coach. Before then, he spent 11 years coaching at Gateway.

His teams were regularly some of the best in the WPIAL, appearing in the playoffs in all 11 of his seasons and compiling a 101-30 overall record.

Mark Lyons, Central Valley football coach, said the hiring of Smith should help Penn State strengthen its recruiting ties in Western Pennsylvania.

“Terry has a great rapport with the coaches in [the WPIAL],” he said. “He’s well respected in the district, and I just think he understands what kind of athletes come out of here.

“Sometimes, it’s not always measured by the 40 time, and he understands the character of the kids and understands what programs they come from. So he has a lot of insights from that vantage point.”

At Temple, the recruiting class Smith helped compile includes four commitments from Pittsburgh-area athletes, according to Rivals’ Temple affiliate, OwlScoop.com. Three of the players, Anthony Davis, Delvon Randall and Brenon Thrift, are from Gateway, and the fourth, Lenny Williams, attends Sto-Rox.

Penn State has not officially named any assistant coaches yet, but several members from Franklin’s former Vanderbilt staff have announced via social media they are now employed by Penn State and have entries in the Penn State school directory. These coaches are Oakmont native and defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, linebackers coach Brent Pry, offensive coordinator John Donovan, special teams/running backs coach Charles Huff, wide receivers coach Josh Gattis and quarterbacks coach Ricky Rahne. Multiple players said Dwight Galt, also previously at Vanderbilt, would be the team’s strength and conditioning coach.

Smith was a wide receiver for Penn State from 1988-91. He finished his career with 108 receptions for 1,825 yards, placing him in the top 15 in Penn State history in both categories.

NOTE — Penn State received commitments from two more former Vanderbilt commitments on Monday, according to recruiting websites Rivals, 24-7 Sports and Scout. The newest players to commit to Penn State, bringing the team’s total to 22, are Trace McSorley, an athlete from Virginia who is rated a three-star recruit by Rivals, and Grant Haley, a defensive back from Atlanta who is a rated a three-star recruit by Rivals. Five recruits originally committed to Vanderbilt are now committed to Penn State.

Mark Dent: mdent@post-gazette.com, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05

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