UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State filled its vacant defensive coordinator position by promoting co-defensive coordinator Brent Pry, head coach James Franklin announced Sunday.
Pry, who worked with Franklin for the past five seasons dating to their time at Vanderbilt, served as Penn State’s co-defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and assistant head coach last season. In Pry’s new role — which fills the void left by defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, who left Saturday to take the job as defensive coordinator at Tennessee — Pry adds the title of associate head coach. According to the team’s website, Pry will continue to coach the linebackers, too.
“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 to move into the defensive coordinator position,” Franklin said in a statement. “Brent’s promotion will help make this a smooth transition and allow us to continue to build one of the top defenses in the country.”
Pry, an Altoona native, was rumored to be in the running to become head coach at Georgia Southern last month. Pry served as defensive coordinator at Georgia Southern in 2010 and as defensive coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2002-06.
“I am very honored and appreciative of the opportunity to be the defensive coordinator at Penn State,” Pry said in a statement. “I am excited about the future of this program and this defense. There has been a lot of work put in these first two years by a very loyal group of players, coaches and staff. I’m looking forward to the successes that lie ahead for our football family.”
Penn State also announced other defensive staff changes, adding Pry’s old title of assistant head coach to Terry Smith, who will continue to also coach Penn State’s cornerbacks and serve as the team’s defensive recruiting coordinator. Defensive line coach Sean Spencer will also serve as run game coordinator. Penn State still needs someone to coach the safeties, the position group Shoop coached last season.
On the other side of the ball, Ricky Rahne will shift from quarterbacks coach to passing game coordinator and tight ends coach — a position offensive coordinator John Donovan handled before he was fired last month — according to the team website. New offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead will also coach the quarterbacks.
Audrey Snyder: email@example.com and Twitter @audsnyder4.
First Published January 10, 2016 4:21 PM