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Penn State hires OC Kirk Ciarrocca away from Minnesota

Penn State hires OC Kirk Ciarrocca away from Minnesota

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Penn State has hired Kirk Ciarrocca as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, after he held the same role for Big Ten foe Minnesota for the past three seasons.

Ciarrocca replaces Ricky Rahne, who was named the head coach at OId Dominion earlier this month. Penn State head coach James Franklin, whose team plays Memphis in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, made the announcement on Thursday.

Ciarrocca grew up as a Nittany Lions fan in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, and has deep ties to the state. He has spent the majority of his 30-year coaching career in the Mid-Atlantic region. Ciarrocca came to the Midwest in 2013 to join head coach P.J. Fleck at Western Michigan and followed Fleck to Minnesota in 2017.

The Gophers, who beat Penn State 31-26 on Nov. 9, enjoyed a breakout season behind Ciarrocca's play calling and the development of quarterback Tanner Morgan. No. 16 Minnesota (10-2, No. 18 CFP), which plays Auburn in the Outback Bowl next week, is tied for third in the Big Ten with No. 13 Penn State (10-2, No. 10 CFP) with an average of 34.3 points per game. Morgan leads the conference with an average of 247.9 passing yards per game, setting single-season program records for yards and touchdowns.

Ciarrocca has been an offensive coordinator for 18 seasons. He also has had stints on the staffs at Temple, Delaware Valley, Western Connecticut State, Princeton, Penn, Delaware, Rutgers and Richmond.

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