Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Moorhead Hiring As New Penn State OC Now Official

The coach who turned around the Fordham program is heading to Happy Valley to guide the Nittany Lion offense.

Penn State coach James Franklin has made good on his promise to hire a new offensive coordinator before the Nittany Lions’ TaxSlayer Bowl matchup with Georgia.

Saturday afternoon, FOS sources said Fordham head coach Joe Moorhead would be announced as Penn State’s new OC. It happened several hours later.

“We are very excited to have Joe join our Penn State football family,” Franklin said in a prepared statment. “He has distinguished himself as a head coach who made a dramatic impact at Fordham University. His approach and vision offensively is very similar to ours: hard-nosed, blue collar and explosive.

“We completed an exhaustive search of many candidates and his name kept rising to the top,” Franklin added. “Many factors led to this decision. Joe’s makeup as a person and leader is outstanding. He is originally from Pittsburgh and has strong relationships throughout Pennsylvania and the region. He brings invaluable perspective to our staff as a former head coach. Most importantly his offensive production as a coordinator and head coach speaks for itself.”

“I am incredibly excited to join the Penn State football family,” Moorhead said in the same release. “My family and I are thrilled to be coming home. It is an unbelievable opportunity to help contribute to a program with a rich tradition and promising future. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.”

The 42-year-old Moorhead played his college ball (as a quarterback) at Fordham. He has been the Rams’ head coach since 2012, compiling a 38-13 record thanks primarily to a high-powered offense.

“I love it,” one source said of the hire.

Fordham was 1-11 the season before he arrived.

He had previously served as an offensive assistant at UConn, Akron and Georgetown.

Moorhead replaces John Donovan, who was fired after the 2015 regular season.


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