James Franklin explains decision to move on from OC Kirk Ciarrocca after one year at Penn State
Big news came out of Penn State shortly after the 2020 season ended in Happy Valley. Offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, who was with the Nittany Lions just one season, was out after a rough year.
Considering all the circumstances facing Penn State, it was a surprising decision for head coach James Franklin to make. After all, Ciarrocca had proven at Minnesota that he knew how to operate an offense in the B1G.
Despite the 4-5 season, Penn State ranked 2nd in the B1G in total offense and 3rd in points for the 2020 season. There were some bright spots on that side of the football in Ciarrocca’s first season with the Lions.
Franklin admitted that it was tough to make the decision, but there were some philosophical things that weren’t meshing in State College.
“I got a tremendous amount of respect for Kirk,” Franklin said on Monday, according to Audrey Snyder of The Athletic. “It was a tough conversation to have. He’s a total class act.”
Franklin said he’d like to see his team produce more explosive plays, limit turnovers and get into the end zone more frequently than it did this season.
Ciarrocca was brought in to replace Ricky Rahne, who was hired away by Old Dominion to be the head coach following the 2019 season.