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REPORT: James Franklin closing in on potential OC target

New reports suggest that James Franklin may be closing in on a target for Penn State offensive coordinator.



Penn State football, Penn State offensive coordinator, James Franklin, Andy Kotelnicki, Kansas
Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki works with players during a practice in 2021 at the University of Kansas.

It appears that Penn State football may be narrowing the search for its next offensive coordinator. New reporting Tuesday night suggests that Nittany Lions coach James Franklin is closing in on Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki this week. A name that hasn’t been front-of-mind on many big boards, it now seems as if momentum is picking up for Kotelnicki to potentially be offered the position as the Penn State offensive coordinator.

James Franklin closing in on Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki, per reports

Mike Yurcich was fired from his role as Penn State offensive coordinator on November 12, nearly two and a half weeks ago. While James Franklin has spoken about the upcoming hire numerous times since, actionable information on potential candidates has been scarce. 

However, this may be changing. Reports from Bryson Stricker of Bleacher Report Tuesday night suggest that Penn State football coach James Franklin met with Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki early this week.

Although Stricker later clarified that he can’t confirm if Franklin traveled to Lawrence for the meeting, he remains steadfast that Kotelnicki is the top target for the Penn State offensive coordinator position. We know that Franklin was scheduled to meet with potential candidates last weekend

Would this be a fit for Penn State football?

Of course, Andy Kotelnicki is part of the Lance Leipold staff that rapidly turned around the Kansas football program. Last year, the Jayhawks averaged 7 yards per play and put up over 500 yards of offense six times. Kotelnicki has done wonders with Kansas QB Jalon Daniels, who had 18 touchdowns and over 2,000 yards passing last season. 

Kotelnicki followed Leipold to Kansas from stops at Buffalo and Wisconsin-Whitewater. Both locations were met with historic success, including breaking Buffalo’s program record for total offense in 2018. 

While it’s unclear if Kotelnicki would be willing to part ways with Leipold, he does have a proven track record of success at multiple locations. This was something that James Franklin identified as a critical factor in his decision when discussing the upcoming hire last week. 

“A big one [factor] is, [having] data and information based on the people that have been able to score against their best competition, the best competition in whatever leagues they’ve come from,” he said. “I think that’s an important piece of this as well.”

“Our [offensive] numbers are pretty good,” Franklin continued. “But we got to make sure that we put ourselves in the best position based on the teams that we need to beat. And have the data to back it up, and evidence to back it up, and the experience to back it up. So, that’s really the biggest difference.”

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Matt is a co-owner and Editor in Chief of Basic Blues Nation. Launched in 2022, Basic Blues Nation is one of the fastest-growing websites covering all Penn State athletics, with over 3.5 million readers in 2023. Matt is also a credentialed member of the Penn State football beat, and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America.


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