Penn State hires Red Land graduate as new offensive coordinator

Ron Musselman
York Dispatch
Penn State football coach James Franklin announced Kirk Ciarrocca, a 1983 Red Land High School from Lewisberry, has joined the staff as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Penn State hired a York County native as its new offensive coordinator Thursday morning.

Football coach James Franklin announced Kirk Ciarrocca, a 1983 Red Land High School graduate from Lewisberry, has joined the staff as the team's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

The 54-year-old replaces Ricky Rahne, who was named head coach at Old Dominion on Dec. 9.

"We couldn't be more excited to bring in someone of Kirk's caliber to our Penn State football family," Franklin said in a news release Dec. 26. "He is a veteran coordinator who also has deep Pennsylvania roots and ties.

"His most recent successes as an offensive coordinator caught our eye. What impressed me most about Kirk in the hiring process was his humility and his willingness to make this an easy transition for our players. We are thrilled to welcome Kirk and his family home to Pennsylvania and to Happy Valley."

More:Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne to become Old Dominion's head coach

More:Penn State headed to Cotton Bowl for first time since 1975, will face Memphis

Ciarrocca spent the past three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Minnesota. He has 18 years of experience as an offensive coordinator overall.

The Golden Gophers' offense put up impressive numbers this year en en route to winning 10 games for the first time since 1905. Minnesota also beat Penn State, 31-26, on Nov. 9.

Ciarrocca was a semifinalist for the 2019 Broyles Award for the nation's top assistant coach. 

"I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to work at a program as rich in tradition as Penn State University," Ciarrocca said. "It is an honor and a privilege to join Coach Franklin's staff and to work alongside such a successful head football coach.

"Having grown up a Penn State fan, I am humbled by the opportunity to serve as your offensive coordinator. My family and I are overjoyed to be coming home to Happy Valley."

Prior to Minnesota, Ciarrocca was the offensive coordinator at Western Michigan for four seasons.

He also has coached at Delaware, Richmond, Rutgers, Penn, Princeton, Western Connecticut State, Delaware Valley College and Temple. 

In a six-year tour as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Delaware from 2002-07, Ciarrocca helped guide the Blue Hens to the NCAA Division I-AA national championship in 2003 and mentored Joe Flacco, the former Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.

Ciarrocca was a defensive back at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, before moving on to Temple, where he graduated in 1990.

Ciarrocca and his wife, Kim, have a daughter, Colby, and a son, Cade. 

Penn State (10-2) faces Memphis (12-1) in the Cotton Bowl at noon Saturday, Dec. 28.