This senior class was one of the most successful in school history. Frank Bodani, email@example.com
Penn State head football coach James Franklin recently got a new contract deal, and now he’s looking for a new offensive coordinator.
Old Dominion has hired Ricky Rahne from Franklin’s staff as its head coach. ODU officials announced the move Monday evening after national reports broke the news earlier.
Rahne, 39, is Penn State’s second straight offensive coordinator to leave for a head coaching opportunity. He had been promoted at the end of 2017 after Joe Moorhead left for Mississippi State.
“First, I love Ricky and his family. This is a bittersweet moment for our program,” Penn State’s Franklin said in a prepared statement. “I am so incredibly proud of Ricky and I am super excited for him, his family and Old Dominion.
“I am forever indebted to Ricky for his loyalty and drive in helping us succeed at Vanderbilt and Penn State. Ricky is a rising star in the industry and is built for this opportunity. He is a smart, open-minded and talented coach. His humble leadership style will resonate well with Old Dominion’s leadership and players.”
Before his two seasons as OC, Rahne served as an assistant coach on offense at Penn State, first coaching quarterbacks and then tight ends. He again coached the quarterbacks during his seasons as offensive coordinator in 2018-19.
He had joined the Penn State coaching staff in 2014, following Franklin from Vanderbilt. Rahne coached quarterbacks there, too. The two also previously coached together at Kansas State.
Rahne’s offense was ranked third in the Big Ten this season in scoring, averaging 34.3 points per game. The Lions were sixth in total offense at 402.2 yards per game.
Rahne coached quarterback Christian Hackenberg, who set numerous Penn State records at the time, and tight end Mike Gesicki, who broke the school’s receiving records for tight end and is now a starter for the Miami Dolphins.
Other accomplishments include coaching the offense in the 2017 Fiesta Bowl win over Washington in which Penn State racked up more than 500 yards.
Penn State’s 2019 offense showed an ability, at times, to pile up points and make explosive plays, but it also suffered from a lack of continuity and stretches of inconsistent play.
The Lions have a 20-6 record with him as offensive coordinator and have employed a diversified and improved running game. Rahne also was in charge of Penn State’s offensive play calling in a TaxSlayer Bowl loss to Georgia to conclude the 2015 season.
The former college quarterback at Cornell made early coaching stops at his alma mater and at Holy Cross.
Rahne will be the second head coach in Old Dominion’s brief football history, following Bobby Wilder, who stepped down earlier this month after 12 years with the program.
The timing seems positive for Rahne with ODU’s $67.5 million stadium overhaul aimed at helping make it competitive in Conference USA. The Monarchs finished 1-11 this season under Wilder.
The university is planning to introduce Rahne to the media and ODU community Wednesday morning at S.B. Ballard Stadium.