At least four of James Franklin’s former Penn State assistants will be head coaches when the 2022 season begins. There could be a fifth branch on Franklin’s coaching tree if current co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Anthony Poindexter’s move to Virginia is as close as it sounds.
Former Franklin assistants who aren’t head coaches yet are also making a splash. Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, who worked under Franklin at Vanderbilt and Penn State from 2012-17, will be coaching in the college football playoff, and Tuesday, he was named the winner of the 2021 Broyles award for the nation’s top assistant coach.
We are honored to announce the 2021 #BroylesAward Winner Josh Gattis, @UMich OC. @Coach_Gattis exemplifies the legacy of Coach Broyles and 26 years of #coachingexcellence.@UMichFootball @michigannews @espn @CBSSports @FOXSports @NBCSports pic.twitter.com/ZyQMj7TKae
— BROYLES AWARD (@BroylesAward) December 7, 2021
The award has been given since 1996 and is named for former Arkansas coach Frank Broyles.
“@coach_gattis exemplifies the legacy of Coach Broyles and 26 years of #coachingexcellence” the award’s account tweeted.
Gattis was the wide receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator under Franklin at Vanderbilt in 2012-13. He then moved with his boss to State College, where he stayed from 2014-17 as passing game coordinator, wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator. He then worked for Nick Saban at Alabama for a year before moving to Michigan.
After mixed results in 2019-20, the Wolverines have put it together this year with a 12-1 record and two wins away from a national championship. Gattis’ offense is scoring nearly 38 points per game, good for second in the Big Ten behind Ohio State and 13th in the nation.