Penn State hires Seider as new running backs coach

Ja’Juan Seider, whose college coaching career has included stops at Florida and West Virginia, has been hired as Penn State’s  running backs coach, head coach James Franklin announced Thursday.

In adding Seider to his staff, Franklin moved David Corley, who was hired on Jan. 12 as running backs coach, to wide receivers coach. The Nittany Lions had an opening there after Josh Gattis left to become the receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Franklin also said that defensive line coach Sean Spencer was promoted to associate head coach.

Seider, 39, spent last season as running backs coach at Florida and was retained by new head coach Dan Mullen in another position. He also coached for three seasons at West Virginia, where he helped Eagles running back Wendell Smallwood lead the Big 12 with 1,519 rushing yards in 2015.

“As soon as I met Ja’Juan, I knew he would be a great fit for our staff,” Franklin said in a university release. “He comes highly recommended from a lot of people in the industry I respect. Ja’Juan has a quiet confidence and a natural charisma that will relate well to our running backs.”

Franklin also called Seider “one of the nation’s top recruiters.”

Seider, a quarterback, played most of his college football at West Virginia, but he transferred to Florida A&M for his senior season. He passed for 2,512 yards and 27 touchdowns in his final year and won the Doug Williams Award as Division I-AA’s national offensive player of the year.

Seider said he and his family “are honored and privileged to be a part of a football program that is so rich in tradition. I believe coach Franklin is doing something special here, and I can’t wait to chase championships in Big Ten country.”

In being moved to wide receivers coach, Corley holds the same position that he held in his last two seasons on the coaching staff at Army.

Spencer, whose coaching career included a stop at Villanova in 2005, has been a part of Franklin’s staff for the past seven seasons – three at Vanderbilt and four at Penn State. His defensive line helped the Lions finish 14th last season in rushing defense and post 42 sacks, the team’s third straight 40-sack season.