Penn State is set to hire University of Kansas offensive coordinator Andy Kotelnicki, according to a report by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman on Thursday.

Kotelnicki will replace Mike Yurcich, who Penn State head coach James Franklin fired on Nov. 12 in the midst of his third season as the Nittany Lions’ offensive coordinator.

During Kotelnicki’s tenure at Kansas, the Jayhawks finished each of the previous two seasons ranked No. 8 and No. 6 in yards per play while averaging more than 30 points per contest. Koteinicki joined Kansas’ staff under then head coach Lance Leipold in 2021 and was nominated for the Broyles Award in 2022, an honor given out each season to the top assistant coach in the nation.

Kotelnicki is in many regards a story of making the most of what you have. In each of the past several seasons Kansas has failed to sign a recruiting class to finish in the top 50 of the 247 Network’s annual rankings. In spite of this, Kansas, Leipold and Kotelnicki have all been credited with creatively making the most out of the talent on the roster, turning the Jayhawks into a significantly better program than it had ever been previously and doing so with what usually would amount to the worst recruiting class in the Big Ten.

Kotenicki comes to Penn State by way of an unorthodox rise, transitioning from Wisconsin-Whitewater to five years as Buffalo’s offensive coordinator from 2015 until 2020. The Bulls topped out under Kotelnicki’s watch in 2020, finishing the year No. 18 in yards per game, and No. 5 nationally in scoring offense averaging 43.4 points per game. Kotelnicki coached in Beaver Stadium twice during his tenure at Buffalo, once in 2015 when the Nittany Lions won 27-14, and again in 2019 when Penn State won 45-13.

“Hopefully [it’s] someone that’s done it long enough that you have a true indication [of success]. Because we have to be careful – somebody could have a special quarterback, or somebody could have a generational wide receiver and it skews all the stats. That’s what makes it hard, right? So that’s where the bigger the sample size, the bigger body of work, it allows you to eliminate some of that risk and feel more confident in the decision,” Penn State coach James Franklin said of the hiring process a few weeks ago. “It’s also somebody that’s going to come in and be able to use the personnel based on how it’s already been built.”

Penn State has not yet announced the hire.

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