Penn State names defensive coordinator
Penn State didn’t wait long to make the obvious choice.
A day after Bob Shoop’s departure to Tennessee, the Lions announced that they promoted linebackers coach Brent Pry to associate head coach and defensive coordinator.
“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.”
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Dating back to their days at Vanderbilt, Pry has spent the last five years on James Franklin’s staff.
Pry will take the reins of a unit that ranked in the top 15 in total defense each of the last two years. In 2014, he was among the finalists for Football Scoop’s Linebackers Coach of the Year after helping lead the Lions to a second-place finish in total defense.
Pry has had stops at Vanderbilt (2011-13), Georgia Southern (2010), Memphis (2007-09), Louisiana Lafayette (2002-06), Western Carolina (1998-2001), Virginia Tech (1995-98) and he was an assistant on Franklin’s East Stroudsburg’s team in 1993-94.
“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.”
The team also announced that Terry Smith has been promoted to assistant head coach while retaining the title of defensive recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach while defensive line coach Sean Spencer will serve as run game coordinator.
It remains to be seen if the team will make an outside hire to take over Pry’s linebacker coach position.