Penn State Hires South Carolina’s John Scott Jr. as Defensive Line Coach
Penn State football has found its replacement for Sean Spencer.
South Carolina's John Scott Jr. will be the Nittany Lions' new defensive line coach, the program announced on Saturday night.
“We are thrilled to welcome John, Blakely, John III, and Juliette to our Penn State family,” head coach James Franklin said. “We believe John will continue to build on the defensive line success we’ve fostered since our arrival at Penn State. He has an impressive coaching resume with experience in the NFL, Big 12 and SEC. John’s diverse accomplishments separated him from the rest of the candidates throughout the hiring process.”
Scott was linked with the position for the past few days. He spent one season on the Gamecocks’ staff as their defensive line coach, but has a decade of experience at both the collegiate and NFL levels.
Before joining South Carolina, Scott was a member of Arkansas’ coaching staff for two seasons. The Greer, South Carolina native was the Razorbacks' defensive tackles’ coach in 2017 before taking charge of the entire defensive line for the following season.
“I am very thankful for the opportunity Coach Franklin has given me,” Scott said. “Coach Franklin is a tremendous leader who has the program on the rise and I’m excited to be a part of it. I can’t wait to work with Coach [Brent] Pry and the defensive staff. I have known Coach Pry for more than 20 years as a player, graduate assistant and position coach, and he has definitely had an impact on my career. I can’t wait to get rolling with the defensive line and continue to build on the tradition they have established.”
Penn State’s newest assistant coach was a member of the New York Jets’ staff in 2015 and 2016, first serving as a defensive quality control coach before earning a promotion to assistant defensive line coach for his second season. In 2015, New York’s defense led the NFL in red zone efficiency and rushing touchdowns allowed, and that almost carried Gang Green to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Scott has also made stops at Texas Tech — where he coached Kerry Hyder to All-Big 12 honors — Georgia Southern, and Western Carolina throughout his career. He played football at Western Carolina as a defensive end, and earned all-conference honors following the 1998 season.
Now that Scott Jr.’s hiring is official, Penn State has brought on four new coaches this offseason. Offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca, wide receivers coach Taylor Stubblefield, and offensive line coach Phil Trautwein were hired to replace Ricky Rahne, Gerad Parker, and Matt Limegrover, respectively.
The team also announced a few title changes among the assistants. Tight ends coach Tyler Bowen adds co-offensive coordinator to his position. Running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider also will be run game coordinator, a role previously held by Limegrover. And special teams coordinator Joe Lorig adds outside linebackers coach to his duties.