It appears that James Franklin will be making his third offensive coaching hire in the past month.
This time, Penn State will be looking for a new wide receivers coach for the third straight year.
Gerad Parker, who joined the Nittany Lions last winter, was named the new offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at West Virginia on Friday evening. The move was first reported by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and others.
Since the 2011 season Parker has coached at Marshall, Purdue (which included serving as interim head coach), Cincinnati, Duke and Penn State.
“I’m excited to be joining Neal Brown’s staff at West Virginia and becoming a part of the Mountaineer football family,” Parker said in a news release from WVU football. “I have known Neal for a long time and have the utmost respect for him as a coach, a man, husband and father.”
“My father worked in a coal mine and in the coal industry, and I have a lot of respect for this state and for what it stands. I am honored and thankful to join this staff and work with these players. I look forward to trusting the climb.”
The move comes after Penn State’s receivers struggled to produce for the second straight season — beyond speedy KJ Hamler. And even the junior, who recently announced that he’s leaving early for the NFL, turned in an up-and-down second half of 2019.
No one else in the room averaged more than two catches per game.
Penn State’s swirling offensive staff movements began last month when coordinator Ricky Rahne left to become the head coach of Old Dominion. Franklin hired Red Land High’s Kirk Ciarrocca away from Minnesota to replace Rahne on Dec. 26.
Then, just a few days after the Cotton Bowl victory over Memphis, Penn State moved on from offensive line coach Matt Limegrover. Less than a week later, former Boston College assistant Phil Trautwein was named to replace him.
Penn State’s receivers have not truly shined since the Fiesta Bowl run of 2017, which included DaeSean Hamilton, Juwan Johnson, Saeed Blacknall and DeAndre Thompkins.