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Ciarrocca Named Penn State Offensive Coordinator

Pennsylvania native is a veteran offensive coordinator with championship pedigree


ARLINGTON, Texas – Penn State football head coach James Franklin named Kirk Ciarrocca (pronounced shuh-ROCK-uh) offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Thursday. Ciarrocca comes to Happy Valley with 18 years of experience as an offensive coordinator, most recently at the University of Minnesota.


“We couldn’t be more excited to bring in someone of Kirk’s caliber to our Penn State football family,” Franklin said. “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!”

“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.”


Ciarrocca spent the last three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Minnesota. During his time with the Golden Gophers, the offense put up impressive numbers, including a record-breaking season for quarterback Tanner Morgan in 2019.


In 2019, the Golden Gophers posted a 10-win regular season for the first time since 1905, thanks in part to the third-highest scoring offense in program history and the second-most passing yards in a season by the Gophers. Ciarrocca was selected as a semifinalist for the 2019 Broyles Award for the nation’s top assistant coach.


Golden Gopher quarterback Tanner Morgan set program records for season passing yards, season touchdown passes and consecutive games with a touchdown pass on the way to second-team All-Big Ten accolades this season. The Gophers also touted a pair of 1,000-yard wide receivers in All-American and Big Ten Receiver of the Year Rashod Bateman and All-Big Ten first team honoree Tyler Johnson. Morgan was a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien Award for the nation’s top quarterback, while Bateman was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award for the best wide receiver in the country.


Prior to his time at Minnesota, Ciarrocca was the offensive coordinator at Western Michigan for four seasons. In his time with the Broncos, Ciarrocca’s offense set records for points, total yards and touchdowns in 2015, only to break those same records against in 2016. The Broncos finished ninth in FBS in points per game (41.57) as they won the MAC and earned a spot in the Cotton Bowl Classic with a 13-1 record in 2016. Ciarrocca coached the 2016 MAC Offensive Player of the Year and NCAA Consensus All-American in wide receiver Corey Davis, as well as 2016 William V. Campbell Trophy winner in quarterback Zach Terrell.


Before moving to Western Michigan, Ciarrocca had stints at Delaware (2012 – running backs), Richmond (2011 – quarterbacks) and Rutgers (2008-10 – co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks).


In a six-year tour as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Delaware from 2002-07, Ciarrocca helped guide the Blue Hens to the National Championship in 2003 and mentored Super Bowl-winning quarterback Joe Flacco. In addition, the 2007 Blue Hen offense ranked in the top 10 nationally in scoring, total offense, passing offense, third down conversion and red zone offense. He had a pair of quarterbacks drafted into the NFL during his first stint with the Blue Hens.


Ciarrocca also had stops at Penn (2000-01 – wide receivers), Princeton (1996-99 – wide receivers), Western Connecticut State (1994-95 – offensive coordinator/quarterbacks/wide receivers; 1992 – passing game coordinator/wide receivers), Delaware Valley College (passing game coordinator/wide receivers) and Temple (1990-91 – graduate assistant). During his time at Penn, the Quakers won the 2000 Ivy League championship.


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


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