Photo by Ben Jones/Statecollege.com
The Penn State football team will have new coordinators on both sides of the ball next season after coach Bob Shoop accepted the DC position at the University of Tennessee.
Shoop had served as defensive coordinator under head coach James Franklin dating back to their days at Vanderbilt, beginning in 2011. Shoop took over a Penn State defense that struggled mightily in 2013, giving up over 26 points per game. In his first season with Penn State, the Lions improved to the #8 scoring defense in the country, allowing only 17.7 points per game. Although his unit regressed slightly in 2015, they were still #14 in the country in yards per game allowed.
Franklin quickly made the move to promote Brent Pry to the vacant defensive coordinator position. Coach Pry served as assistant head coach, co-defensive coordinator, and linebacker coach in 2015.
Shoop’s move caps off what has been a tumultuous month for the Penn State football team. Offensive coordinator John Donovan was fired before the team’s 24-17 loss to Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl. QB Christian Hackenberg declared for the NFL draft following the loss. Penn State also saw a crucial recruit, DT Karamo Diobate decommit, and announce he was taking an official visit to Ohio State.
With a new starting quarterback and two new coordinators, the Penn State football team will certainly have a new look in 2016. Coach Pry has a tough task in front of him, as the Lions lose major talent at the defensive line position next season.
Coach Shoop will be missed, and it is concerning to see a respected member of the coaching staff make a seemingly lateral career move. Is there strife within Franklin’s program? It’s certainly possible, but promoting coach Fry will hopefully provide some much-needed continuity, and help preserve what remains a very strong recruiting class.
Stay tuned for more Penn State football news as the already busy off-season continues.