Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Penn State Football Moves on from Kirk Ciarrocca, Hires Texas OC Mike Yurcich

In a surprising move on Friday, Penn State football announced the hiring of Mike Yurcich as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach and the departure of Kirk Ciarrocca from the same roles.

After leaving the same position at Minnesota, Ciarrocca spent just one year at the helm of the Nittany Lion offense, which was 37th in the nation in total offense and 54th in scoring offense in 2020. 

‘First, I would like to thank Kirk for his contributions to our program last year,’ said Penn State coach James Franklin. ‘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.

‘We are excited to have Mike join our staff,’ Franklin added.

He will be Penn State’s fifth offensive coordinator in Franklin’s tenure at Penn State, following Ciarrocca (2020), Ricky Rahne (2018-19), Joe Moorhead (2016-17) and John Donovan (2014-15).

‘[Yurcich] 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 comes to Penn State having held the same role at Texas for the 2020 season, the Longhorns recently undergoing a head coaching change. Prior to joining the Longhorns, Yurcich once again had the same role at Ohio State, helping the Buckeyes to a 13-1 record and quarterback Justin Fields to a breakout season.

Under Yurcich, the Longhorns ranked eighth in FBS in scoring offense (42.7 ppg), 16th in passing efficiency (156.2) and 19th in total offense (475.4 ypg). Texas also finished in the top 40 in the country in passing offense (27thth

Prior to both postings, Yurcich held the offensive coordinator title at Oklahoma State from 2013-18, the Cowboys averaging 38.0 points and 478.3 yards per game in his six-year stint.

‘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.’

Yurcich began the most meaningful part of his coaching journey at Shippensburg in 2011-12. The Raiders set multiple program records, including points scored, touchdowns and total offense. In 2012, Shippensburg led NCAA Division II in total offense (529.2 ypg) and was second in scoring offense (46.9 ppg) and passing yards per game (387.7 ypg).