Over Penn State coach James Franklin’s tenure, he’s been praised for his ability to put together a coaching staff.
Past Franklin assistants such as now-Virginia Tech head coach Brent Pry, Joe Moorhead (Mississippi State/Akron and Ricky Rahne (Old Dominion) have all landed head Division I head coaching jobs.
Franklin also has plenty of talent surrounding him current, both on the field and on the staff.
Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich were both splash hires. Safeties coach Anthony Poindexter was offered the head coaching job at Virginia after the 2021 season, and cornerbacks coach/associate head coach Terry Smith has been with Franklin since he took the Penn State job in 2014.
Phil Trautwein has been Penn State’s offensive line coach since before the 2020 season. Before Trautwein came over from Boston College, Penn State had a reputation as a school that, through good seasons and bad, didn’t impress many people with its o-line. That narrative is starting to change, and it’s getting both Penn State and Trautwein recognition on a national scale.
“Aided by Trautwein, all five of Penn State’s starting offensive linemen from last season earned at least honorable mention all-Big Ten recognition,” Zenitz wrote, “including All-American Olu Fashanu and third-team all-conference selection Juice Scruggs.”
Zenitz went on to write that, under Trautwein’s watch, Scruggs played himself into a second-round NFL Draft selection by the Houston Texans, and also praised Trautwein’s recruiting.
“Trautwein has also been the lead recruiter on five current Class of 2024 Penn State commits, including top-100 defensive lineman Liam Andrews, after serving as the primary recruiter on the two highest-ranked players from the Nittany Lions’ 2023 Class (OL J’ven Williams and Alex Birchmeier).”
Two other current Penn State assistants have made Zenitz’ slots within the past two years, with Poindexter and tight ends coach Ty Howle being the others.