Major changes: Penn State fires OC Kirk Ciarrocca, immediately hires replacement
Penn State made a major coaching change on Friday morning, announcing the firing of Kirk Ciarrocca and the hiring of veteran coordinator Mike Yurcich in one fell swoop.
Welcome Coach Yurcich (@Coach_Yurcich)!
— Penn State Football (@PennStateFball) January 8, 2021
Ciarrocca spent just one season in Happy Valley, but presided over a very difficult year for the Nittany Lions. Penn State started 0-5 for the first time in program history and were stagnant offensively for most of the 2020 campaign.
“First, I would like to thank Kirk for his contributions to our program last year,” Franklin said in a release. “This was a difficult decision, but felt it was best for our program to make a change. We wish him and his family all the best in their future endeavors.”
In comes Yurcich, who will now join his fourth program in the last four years. He previously coached at Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Texas. Prior to becoming a journeyman, Yurcich did spend six seasons with the Cowboys in Stillwater.
“We are excited to have Mike join our staff,” Franklin said in the release. “He is an impressive offensive mind and talented play caller who has set records everywhere he has been as an offensive coordinator. I look forward to seeing what he can do with all of the offensive weapons we have here at Penn State. I have followed Mike’s career for a long time, dating back to his time in the PSAC at Shippensburg and Edinboro. We look forward to bringing Mike and his family back to Pennsylvania.”
Yurcich was Texas’ OC last season under Tom Herman, who has since been fired. His departure with new coach Steve Sarkisian coming in makes sense.
“I’d like to thank Head Coach James Franklin, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour and President Eric Barron for the opportunity to be the offensive coordinator at Penn State University,” said Yurcich. “Having spent 11 years in the state of Pennsylvania as a player and coach, I understand the significance of this duty and will represent properly and with humble pride.”