Defensive Coordinator Brent Pry to Remain at Penn State Despite Michigan State Interest

By Dylan Burd on February 10, 2020 at 2:51 pm
Apr 13, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry exits the team tunnel prior to the Blue White spring game at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

After reports that Brent Pry was a candidate for the Michigan State football head coach vacancy, ESPN's Adam Rittenberg has reported that Pry will remain as Penn State's defensive coordinator.

With Mark D'Antonio stepping down as the Spartans head coach last week, Pry was reportedly one of Michigan State's candidates to take over along with Cincinnati head coach, Luke Fickell and a host of others. It was recently announced that Fickell also turned down the job.

Pry, the Altoona native, has been with the Nittany Lions since 2014, where he came over from Vanderbilt with James Franklin. Franklin gave Pry the same position he had at Vanderbilt, which was assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach. Pry remained in that role until 2016 where he was promoted to defensive coordinator. He also remained the linebackers coach.

In 2019, Brent Pry led the eighth-best defensive in the country by points allowed per game with 16.8. Penn State's defensive also ranked 5th in the FBS in rushing defense, and 7th in the FBS in total sacks. 

Considering that Penn State lost offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne this offseason, Pry staying put is a huge win for the program. Not only would Penn State have had the tough task of replacing Pry this late in the coaching carousel, but it also would have had to replace several other staff members that Pry would have taken with him to Michigan State. 

This is the second time that Pry has been considered for a head coaching job, as he was in the running for the Louisiana Lafayette job in 2017 as well.

Brent Pry may very well become a head coach at some point in the near future, but for now for certain that he'll be with Penn State for at least the 2020 season. 

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