Penn State Football: Oregon Hires Special Teams Coordinator Joe Lorig


Penn State special teams coordinator and outside linebackers coach Joe Lorig is headed to Eugene, Oregon.

Oregon football officially announced Monday night it will hire Lorig to run special teams and coach nickel defensive backs.

Rumors connecting Lorig to the Ducks started when The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported last week before the Outback Bowl that they were targeting him.

Lorig just wrapped up his third season as the Nittany Lions’ special teams coordinator. He’s helped lead punters Blake Gillikin and Jordan Stout to success, along with return men KJ Hamler and Jahan Dotson. In 2020, Dotson averaged a program-record 24.6 yards on his punt returns.

Before coming to Penn State, Lorig held the same role at Memphis for three seasons. In his first year with the Tigers, he helped lead them to three kickoff return touchdowns after a 21-year drought without any. He also coached current Philadelphia Eagle Jake Elliot at Memphis for one season. In 2016, the kicker went 21-for-26 on his field goals — two of which were from more than 50 yards — and hit all 58 of his extra point attempts.

Lorig, a native of Edmonds, Washington, started his coaching career as Western Oregon’s defensive backs coach in 1997. Since then, he’s racked up eight seasons as a special teams coordinator and eight seasons as a defensive coordinator.

James Franklin quickly touched on rumors that Lorig would head to Oregon during his post-Outback Bowl presser.

“Obviously he’s been pursued. He is being pursued. That information has been out in public,” Franklin said. “Both Joe and his wife are from [Oregon], so that factors into this thing as well.”

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