Get to know Andy Kotelnicki: 5 questions on Penn State’s new offensive coordinator.

Unlikely: Offensive Questions That Need An……

Penn State announced the hiring of Andy Kotelnicki last Friday, and we spent time speaking with a Kansas football reporter for more perspective. Here’s what we heard about the Nittany Lions’ new offensive coordinator.

Penn State football officially hires Andy Kotelnicki

A new era is underway for the Penn State football offense as Andy Kotelnicki was introduced as coordinator last Friday. During the search, Nittany Lions head coach James Franklin expressed his desire to hire a “head coach of the offense”, and on a Sunday night media call he sounded confident about that fit while also detailing what December will look like for Kotelnicki.

“Andy will be here more just taking everything in and getting a feel for the culture, very similar to when we hired Manny,” Franklin said during a Peach Bowl press conference. “To be able to be here be around our players, be able to sit in our meetings, be able to see strengths and weaknesses, so that literally the day the bowl game ends he can jump in with both feet and get going.”

Franklin cited Kotelnicki’s lengthy track record as a play-caller with sustained success at different levels, including a recent three-season stint at Kansas. In order to gain a greater understanding of what the new Penn State OC brings to Happy Valley, and how he found success in Lawrence, we turned to 247Sports Jayhawks beat reporter Michael Swain.

A hot commodity in the 2023 coaching market, Kotelnicki ultimately opted to part ways with Kansas head coach Lance Leipold after 11 consecutive seasons together at three schools. Swain discussed likely motivations for the move, staples of Kotelnicki’s offensive approach and the personality that he’ll provide at Penn State.

Continue reading for Swain’s breakdown of five questions from Lions247…

Loyalty is a big thing for a lot of people around the KU football program, and Lance has brought the same kind of core with him along the way. Brian Borland, the defensive coordinator for KU, has been Leipold’s defensive coordinator since his first season at Wisconsin-Whitewater. Like we’re talking over a decade of spending time together. And for Kotelnicki to leave, I think shows obviously the status that Penn State has in the college football world.

And Kotelnicki has made it no secret that he wants to be a head coach one day. How do you become a head coach the fastest? Well, you might argue, hey, you stay at Kansas next season, they’re gonna return a lot, and maybe with a great season, he gets head coaching looks. That’s one path.

I think the other path is going to Penn State with Drew Allar, Nick Singleton and some of the sweet skill position players they have, showing out for a season or two, and then doing what maybe Joe Moorhead did, where you move on and get an even higher-profile head coaching job. So I think it speaks to Penn State — what they have and the talent and the opportunity — that he decided to jump.

This time last year, when he renegotiated that contract and got the $700,000 buyout to move laterally to another OC job, I think a lot of people around KU thought that was it, that Andy Kotelnicki wasn’t gonna leave unless it was a head coaching job. Because there aren’t many programs that are willing to dish out 700k to get an offensive coordinator. So again, it speaks to Penn State, the opportunity, but also I think Kotelnicki’s ambitions to be a head coach at the highest level.

I’ll tell you who is really pissed off that Andy Kotelnicki is going to Penn State. It’s safeties coaches and defensive backs coaches around the Big Ten. You’ll realize this when you watch a game live — there’s so many times in a game that you’ll watch a play happen, and you’re just thinking what the heck just happened to the defensive back? What are they looking at? Because guys are running wide open. You see it all the time.

And look, KU does not have NFL talent. Like they’ve got maybe an offensive lineman Dominick Puni at the left tackle as an NFL guy, and then running back Devin Neal. Outside of that, it’s a lot of guys that are great college players, but not a lot of NFL guys. And I think the ability for Kotelnicki to bring the best out of those guys is what you’ve seen happen, and it happens through scheme. That’s exactly what KU does, and obviously what Penn State will do now going forward.

It’s a lot of building off of multiplicity. I remember West Virginia’s defensive coordinator sat in front of the media after playing KU like perplexed, because KU ran the same plays, just out of different looks, and it completely confused West Virginia.

So it’s the ability to make things very complex for defenses, and then for the offense to be able to understand it. And that’s why spring ball is so important. You saw the evolution happen. In 2021, this coaching staff was brought in without a spring, they got brought here in April, which is so late and the offense that year wasn’t great. But then you saw the jump last year where all of a sudden it looks like they’re running triple option at times and then they’re hitting the opposing team deep. It was just a very explosive offense.

It’s a lot outside zone looks and it’s a lot of multiplicity within that. Allar isn’t necessarily a dual-threat guy. I don’t think he’s gonna be someone like (Kansas QB) Jalon Daniels, who is gonna run for 100 yards in a game a ton, but he’s mobile, and he’s a big guy. Ann they’re gonna use his legs to their advantage.

And so I think, overall, what they do is get people’s eyes in the wrong spot. It’s a lot of motion. I think KU ranked in the top third of college football in pre-snap motion. So it’s a lot of getting the defense’s eyes in the wrong spot and all of a sudden hitting them behind with guys that are wide open on crossing routes, deep routes. Obviously Allar has the arm to make those plays happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *