The school confirmed the hire Saturday evening.
It’s a major hire for Nittany Lions coach James Franklin, who fired previous offensive coordinator John Donovan last month. Despite having a likely high-round NFL draft pick in quarterback Christian Hackenberg, Penn State’s offense was among the nation’s worst.
One of college football’s brightest offensive minds and a Pittsburgh native, Moorhead had a 38–13 record in his four years at his alma mater, Fordham, which he also took to the FCS playoffs the last three seasons. His fast-paced offense was ninth in the FCS in scoring (36.8 points per game) this season and featured one of the nation’s top rushers in Chase Edmonds (1,648 yards).
The 42-year-old Moorhead has also interviewed for several FBS head coaching jobs the last couple of years, including Central Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. Before Fordham, he spent three seasons at Connecticut, two of which were as offensive coordinator, the final of which was when the Huskies made the Fiesta Bowl in 2010.
There, Moorhead coached the program’s running backs for a season and quarterbacks for two years before being promoted to offensive coordinator his final season. He played quarterback at Fordham from 1992–95 before signing an Arena Football League contract and spending a season with the Munich Cowboys in 1996.
Moorhead’s hiring at Penn State was first reported by Ty Feldman.
Franklin has a 14–11 record in his two seasons at Penn State. The Nittany Lions (7–5) play Georgia (9–3) in the TaxSlayer Bowl on Jan. 2.