Penn State football all-time roster: Coaches, kickers and specialists

·6 min read

After deliberating over who should make the Penn State all-time offense and all-time defense, it was time to make some easy decisions when it came to putting together the all-time coaching staff. Head coach? That’s a ridiculously easy call with one of college football’s all-time greats patrolling the sidelines for as long as Joe Paterno did.

But some difficult decisions did have to be made when it was time to form the all-time special teams roster. You may not have realized it at first, but Penn State has a pretty solid history of placekickers, and some very notable names managed to miss the cut after reviewing the all-time school records. Robbie Gould, Brett Conway, and Matt Bahr all missing the two-deep all-time kicker position should tell you Penn State has some stiff competition at the position.

Check out the all-time special teams roster and all-time coaching staff, and continue to check out all the ongoing Penn State coverage we have to offer at Nittany Lions Wire.

See Penn State’s all-time offense and all-time defense

Check out our other College Wire all-time lineups: AlabamaArkansasAuburnClemsonColoradoFloridaGeorgiaIowaLSUMichiganNebraskaNorth CarolinaOhio StateOklahomaOregonRutgersTennesseeTexasTexas A&MUSCWisconsin

Starting K: Tyler Davis

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A quick look at the all-time kicking records in Penn State history shows why Tyler Davis is at the top of this list, ahead of some very recognizable options. Davis has the highest career field goal percentage (79.6).

Backup K: Kevin Kelly

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No kicker comes close to the field goal production Kevin Kelly had for the Nittany Lions. Kelly converted 78 field goal attempts out of 107, hitting on 72.9% of his attempts during his Penn State career.

Starting P: Jordan Stout

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Penn State was in good hands, or legs, with Jordan Stout on the roster. Stout is Penn State’s all-time career leader in average punting yardage with 44.54 yards per punt. He also owns the school’s all-time best punting yardage average for a single season with 46.0 ypp in 2021.

Backup P: Blake Gillikin

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Few punters were as consistently reliable punting the ball as Blake Gillikin, who preceded Stout. Gillikin averaged 42.8 yards per punt as a freshman and 44.0 yards per punt as a junior, both all-time program highs for the respective classes.

Starting KR: Curt Warner

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Penn State running back Curt Warner was also a threat on special teams. Curt Warner owns the school’s second-best career kickoff return average with 28.8 yards per return on 32 all-time returns. He also returned three kickoffs for a touchdown, which remains the school record entering the 2022 season.

Backup KR: Saquon Barkley

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Saquon Barkley was also a big threat to make a big return on kickoffs. Barkley owns two career kickoff return touchdowns, which is tied for second on the school’s all-time list with Derrick Williams and Chaz Powell. Barkley has 500 kickoff return yards on just 18 kickoff returns.

Starting PR: O.J. McDuffie

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No player in Penn State history comes close to accumulating the punt return yardage O.J. McDuffie had. McDuffie had 1,059 all-time punt return yards with three touchdowns.

Backup PR: Jahan Dotson

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Jahan Dotson owns the record for the most average yards per punt return in program history with 17.8 yards per return for 338 career punt return yards.

Head Coach: Joe Paterno

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Joe Paterno is college football’s all-time winningest Division 1 coach with 409 career victories. Among those wins are a pair of national championship victories, the most all-time bowl victories, and three Big Ten championships. This was obviously the easiest decision to make on our all-time roster series.

Offensive Coordinator: Joe Moorhead

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His time in Happy Valley may have been brief, but Joe Moorhead took Penn State’s offense to new heights and helped make players like Saquon Barkley and Trace McSorley the stars they became at Penn State.

Offensive Coordinator 2 : Fran Ganter

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The long-time right-hand man to Joe Paterno, and once suspected to be the eventual successor to Paterno, Fran Ganter was in charge of the offense that obliterated the competition in 1994.

Defensive Coordinator: Tom Bradley

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Tom Bradley was another long-time assistant to Joe Paterno. The former Nittany Lions defensive back was on the staff from 1979 as a graduate assistant through 2011, ending his run as a short-term interim coach in 21011. Bradley ran Penn State’s defense for 12 seasons and was one of the top defensive minds in the Big Ten.

Defensive Coordinator 2: Brent Pry

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One of James Franklin’s top assistants that came with him to Penn State from Vanderbilt, Brent Pry continued the tradition of excellence with Penn State’s defense before leaving to become a head coach at Virginia Tech.

Assistant Coach 1: Larry Johnson

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Larry Johnson has long been considered one of the best defensive assistant coaches in college football, and he earned that reputation coaching the defensive line at Penn State before taking on a similar role at Ohio State.

Assistant Coach 2: Jim Caldwell

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Jim Caldwell spent seven seasons at Penn State from 1986 through 1992 coaching quarterbacks, including Kerry Collins. Caldwell has gone on to be a successful coach in the NFL and continues to work with quarterbacks in the NFL.

Assistant Coach 3: Joe Sarra

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Joe Sarra served a few roles on Penn State’s staff during his career including defensive line coach and linebackers coach. He helped mold the defensive identity of some of Penn State’s most successful teams, including the 1986 national championship team.

Assistant Coach 4: Joe Paterno

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We have to double dip on Paterno here, because he is legitimately one of the best all-time assistant coaches in Penn State history. Before he became the face of the program as an assistant coach, Paterno was one of the top assistants under his predecessor Rip Engle. Engle deserves mention on his own, but Paterno was one of the assistants he brought with him from Brown, and together they helped make Penn State what they would eventually become underr Paterno’s leadership as head coach.

Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire