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Homecoming for New Penn State Offensive Coordinator

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UNIVERSITY PARK, CENTRE COUNTY –  “My family and I are thrilled to be coming home.”    That’s the reaction from Penn State’s new Offensive Coordinator Joe Moorhead.   He’s a Pittsburgh Central Catholic graduate and now the former Head Coach at Fordham.

James Franklin said the search was exhaustive and that Moorhead was the obvious choice.   He has 18 years of college coaching experience, the last four as the top guy at Fordham.

He inherited a program that finished 1-10 in 2011.   In four years at Fordham, Moorhead finished with a 38-13 record with three consecutive berths in the FCS playoffs.   He led them to a Patriot League title in 2014.

2014 also happens to be the first year CD East’s Chase Edmonds played for Moorhead.   Edmonds earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors that season.

The following is a portion of the official release from Penn State athletics regarding the hiring of Moorhead:


Penn State head coach James Franklin has named Fordham University head coach Joe Moorhead as the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator. Moorhead brings 18 years of collegiate coaching experience to Penn State, including the last four as Fordham’s head coach.


“We are very excited to have Joe join our Penn State Football family,” Franklin said. “He has distinguished himself as a head coach who made a dramatic impact at Fordham University. His approach and vision offensively is very similar to ours: hard-nosed, blue collar and explosive!


“We completed an exhaustive search of many candidates and his name kept rising to the top,” Franklin continued. “Many factors led to this decision. Joe’s makeup as a person and leader is outstanding. He is originally from Pittsburgh and has strong relationships throughout Pennsylvania and the region. He brings invaluable perspective to our staff as a former head coach. Most importantly his offensive production as a coordinator and head coach speaks for itself.”


“I am incredibly excited to join the Penn State Football family,” Moorhead said. “My family and I are thrilled to be coming home. It is an unbelievable opportunity to help contribute to a program with a rich tradition and promising future. I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and getting to work.”


After inheriting a program that went 1-10, Moorhead steadily built Fordham into a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff regular, along the way, leading the Rams to their best season in program history in 2013 and the Patriot League title in 2014. Moorhead earned a 38-13 record as the Rams’ head coach with three consecutive berths in the FCS playoffs.


During his tenure, Moorhead produced the highest ranking in program history (#5 in 2013), highest final ranking in program history (#9 in 2013 and 2014), the first two wins over FBS schools in program history and the first two wins over top-10 opponents in school history. Moorhead guided the 2014 Jerry Rice Award for the NCAA FCS Rookie of the Year, three consecutive Patriot League Offensive Players of the Year, 11 All-Americans, five CoSIDA Academic All-Americans and 55 All-Patriot League performers (37 first team, 18 second team) while with the Rams.


Under Moorhead, the Rams were consistently one of the top offensive teams in FCS. In 2015, Fordham is second in team passing efficiency (168.30), ninth in scoring offense (36.8), 19th in total offense (453.3), 20th in passing offense (272.3), 17th in third down conversion (.456) and 19th in first down offense (262). The Rams were in the top 10 in team passing efficiency (3rd; 156.23), passing offense (4th; 326.1), scoring offense (5th; 40.6), total offense (7th; 494.1) and first down offense (9th; 331) in 2014. In 2013, Fordham was in the top 10 in completion percentage (1st; .706), passing offense (3rd; 360.9), third down conversion (3rd; .500), first down offense (3rd; 364), team passing efficiency (5th; 163.43) and total offense (7th; 515.3). The Moorhead-led offense set 16 school records (individual and team) in 2013 and 2014.