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Penn State Football: Joe Moorhead Hired As Offensive Coordinator

by on December 12, 2015 3:30 PM

Penn State has hired Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead as offensive coordinator the program announced Saturday evening.

"We are very excited to have Joe join our Penn State Football family," coach James Franklin said. "He has distinguished himself as a head coach who made a dramatic impact at Fordham University. His approach and vision offensively is very similar to ours: hard-nosed, blue collar and explosive."

"We completed an exhaustive search of many candidates and his name kept rising to the top," Franklin continued. "Many factors led to this decision. Joe's makeup as a person and leader is outstanding. He is originally from Pittsburgh and has strong relationships throughout Pennsylvania and the region. He brings invaluable perspective to our staff as a former head coach. Most importantly his offensive production as a coordinator and head coach speaks for itself."

"I am incredibly excited to join the Penn State Football family," Moorhead said in a statement. "My family and I are thrilled to be coming home. It is an unbelievable opportunity to help contribute to a program with a rich tradition and promising future. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work."

The news comes just a few short weeks following the departure of former offensive coordinator John Donovan who was relieved of his duties following the end of Penn State's regular season and loss to Michigan State.

Moorhead is coming off of a 9-3 record with the Rams whose season ended in a 50-20 loss to Chattanooga in the FCS playoffs. The Rams scored 384 points, rushed for 1,876 yards and passed for 2,722 yards this season.

Having just completed his fourth year at the helm of the Rams, Moorhead led them to a Patriot League title in 2014 with an offense which set school records in both rushing and passing along the way.

In 2013, Moorhead guided the to the FCS National Title game and earned Patriot Coach of the Year honors for his efforts. In 2012, Moorhead took over at Fordham, inheriting a team that had gone 1-10 a year before, the Rams finished the next season with a 6-5 record.

Prior to taking over at Fordham, Moorhead spent time UConn, Akron and Georgetown in various offensive coaching capacities.

Fordham scored 40 or more points on five occasions during the 2015 season, breaking the 30 point barrier eight times.

Penn State bowl game media day is set for this coming Friday morning. Quarterback's coach Ricky Rahne will call plays during the Nittany Lions' bowl game on January 2 against Georgia.

Moorhead will be tasked with building an offense, likely around a new quarterback and with returning star running back Saquon Barkley. Penn State's offensive numbers improved from the 2014 to 2015 seasons but failed to execute on a consistent basis. The Nittany Lions continue to rebuild following the end of crippling NCAA sanctions.

Following the completion of the 2015 FCS season, Fordham finished second in team passing efficiency (168.30), ninth in scoring offense (36.8), 19th in total offense (453.3), 20th in passing offense (272.3), 17th in third down conversion (.456) and 19th in first down offense (262). The Rams were in the top 10 in team passing efficiency (3rd; 156.23), passing offense (4th; 326.1), scoring offense (5th; 40.6), total offense (7th; 494.1) and first down offense (9th; 331) in 2014. In 2013, Fordham was in the top 10 in completion percentage (1st; .706), passing offense (3rd; 360.9), third down conversion (3rd; .500), first down offense (3rd; 364), team passing efficiency (5th; 163.43) and total offense (7th; 515.3). The Moorhead-led offense set 16 school records (individual and team) in 2013 and 2014.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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