Penn State special teams coordinator Phil Galiano speaks to the media during a press conference last August. (Phoebe Sheehan/Centre Daily Times via Associated Press)
Here’s an interesting start to your Friday, if you’re a Penn State fan.
The university posted a help wanted ad for a special teams coordinator today (H/T to my intrepid colleague Mark Woegenrich of the Allentown Morning Call for noticing).
Only thing is, the current special teams coordinator, the embattled Phil Galiano, hasn’t been publicly let go.
We’ll be monitoring this story today to see where it goes. So, stay tuned for some updates as we try to confirm what seems obvious now.
Galiano took over as special teams coordinator before the 2017 Fiesta Bowl when Charles Huff joined Joe Moorhead’s staff at Mississippi State. But the Nittany Lions struggled on special teams. They allowed too many big kick returns, their freshman kicker Jake Pinegar struggled early in the season and even star punter Blake Gillikin struggled to find consistency throughout the season.
Assuming Penn State is going to move on from Galiano, he’ll become the second first-year assistant coach on Franklin’s 2018 staff to leave the staff this offseason. Receivers coach David Corley, the leader of another group the couldn’t find any consistency in 2018, was fired Jan. 2 and subsequently replaced by Gerad Parker.
UPDATE, 8:27 AM: Looks like Galiano is heading to the NFL, according to Lions247.
— Lions247 (@Lions247) February 15, 2019
So, indeed, Penn State will be searching for a special teams coordinator as spring practice approaches. It will be a pretty important hire for Franklin, who certainly is expecting more out of that group next season than he got in 2018.
UPDATE, 9:26 AM: Galiano’s departure is official on Penn State’s end. Here’s a statement from head coach James Franklin.
“We are excited for Phil and his family. This is a tremendous opportunity for Phil to return to the NFL. We are very appreciative of Phil and everything he has done for our program over the last two years. We wish him nothing but success moving forward.”
UPDATE, 10 AM: Galiano is going to New Orleans, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Penn State assistant coach Phil Galiano is leaving school to join Saints’ special teams coach Darren Rizzi and become New Orleans’ assistant special teams coach, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 15, 2019
Interesting move for Galiano, if he indeed pursued it.