Joe Lorig’s move from Penn State to Oregon has been expected for almost a week. Now, it’s official.
The now-former Nittany Lions special teams/outside linebackers coach is moving to Eugene to work on new head coach Dan Lanning’s staff. Lorig will still be coaching special teams for the Ducks, and also will be coaching the team’s nickelbacks, which was one of his responsibilities at Penn State.
Penn State’s special teams unit had success in multiple areas under Lorig. This season, the Lions ranked fifth nationally in both kickoff and punt return defense, and Jordan Stout became one of the best punters in college football, winning Big Ten Punter of the Year and becoming a finalist for the Ray Guy Award, awarded to the nation’s best punter.
Penn State also had success in the return game in Lorig’s time. In 2020, Jahan Dotson averaged a program-record 24.6 yards per punt return.
On the surface, moving from Penn State to Oregon with similar job responsibilities might seem like a lateral move at best. But head coach James Franklin pointed out in his post-Outback Bowl press conference that an advantage to Lorig moving to Eugene are that both Lorig and his wife are from there. Lorig is also familiar with Lanning.
Both men spent the 2016 and ‘17 seasons on Mike Norvell’s staff at Memphis. It’s not yet known who will replace Lorig at Penn State.