Syndication: The Topeka Capital-Journal

Penn State has hired Andy Kotelnicki as its new offensive coordinator, The Athletic reports. Kotelnicki comes from Kansas, where he was one of the chief architects of the Jayhawks' incredible turnaround under Lance Leipold. 

Despite missing Preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year Jalon Daniels for much of the season, Kotelnicki generated an attack that ranked No. 29 in both total and scoring offense this season. The Jayhawks' 7.01 yards per play was good enough for eighth in the country, alongside high-powered units like Washington, Oregon, Georgia and USC

At Penn State, Kotelnicki will be tasked with getting more out of a talented unit that has struggled to reach its best under coach James Franklin. The duo of Nick Singleton and Kaytron Allen is considered the top running back combinations in the nation, but Penn State has failed to maximize their ability in the biggest games. 

Kotelnicki's offense revolves around misdirection and wide zone running concepts, but adapted for the college game. Historically, Kansas has embraced dual-threat quarterbacks to add a dynamic component. At Penn State, Kotelnicki will have to get the best out of pocket passer Drew Allar, a former 5-star recruit. 

The Kansas assistant replaces Mike Yurcich, who himself came from the Big 12 after coaching at both Oklahoma State and Texas. He was fired after the Nittany Lions mustered just 15 points in a loss to Michigan. Allar threw for just 70 yards in the defeat. Kotelnicki is the sixth offensive coordinator to serve under Franklin since he was hired at Penn State in 2014. Three were ultimately fired for performance. 

Kotelnicki has coached under Leipold since their time at Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater, rising up through Buffalo and now to Kansas. He has been an offensive coordinator since 2006, when he earned the job at his alma mater, Wisconsin-River Falls. Kotelnicki has built a reputation as one of the most creative playcallers in college football and is known for generating exciting offenses. 

While Kansas has not officially announced the departure of Kotelnicki, the Jayhawks promoted Jim Zebrowski to co-offensive coordinator. Zebrowski worked as quarterbacks coach for the last three seasons and helped mentor Daniels and Jason Bean

The Jayhawks have posted 14-11 record over the past two seasons and reached consecutive bowl games for the first time since 2008. From 2009 to 2021, Kansas never won more than one conference games. In 2023, it won five.