Days after Virginia Tech took Brent Pry away from Penn State, another former James Franklin assistant is taking over a program.
Joe Moorhead, Penn State’s offensive coordinator in 2016 and ’17, will be the next head football coach at Akron.
It won’t be Moorhead’s first Division 1 head coaching job. He left Penn State in 2017 to take the Mississippi State job and went 14-12 in two seasons before being dismissed. Moorhead then became Oregon’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2020 and still can coach the Ducks in their bowl game. After he took the Mississippi State job in 2017, Moorhead didn’t coach in Penn State’s Fiesta Bowl win over Washington.
Not counting that bowl win in which Moorhead was absent, the Nittany Lions went 21-5 in Moorhead’s two seasons in Happy Valley, with a Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl birth in 2016. Players such as Trace McSorley, SaQuon Barkley and Chris Godwin flourished in Moorhead’s system.
If all goes according to plan, four former Franklin assistants will be Divison I head coaches when the 2022 season starts; Moorhead at Akron, Pry at Virginia Tech, Charles Huff at Marshall and Ricky Rahne at Old Dominion.
“My family and I are very excited for this opportunity,” Moorhead said. “We can’t wait to get back to a region of the country we consider home. Our plan for the future is simple: we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work, diligently building a program of which the school, the City of Akron and the State of Ohio can be proud.”
Moorhead will be introduced at a press conference Thursday at 10 a.m.