Posted February 27, 2013 on
AP on Fox
Veteran Penn State athletic department administrator and assistant coach Fran Ganter is retiring after nearly five decades at his alma mater.
A former player, Ganter also served as an assistant for 33 years under the late coach Joe Paterno. He became offensive coordinator in 1984 and oversaw the offense for the 1986 national title team. Ganter became assistant head coach in 2000 before leaving the sidelines in 2004 to become associate athletic director of football administration.
Ganter was asked to deliver a note to Paterno with the number of a university trustee the night Paterno was fired in November 2011 in the aftermath of retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child sex abuse charges.
Ganter in a statement Wednesday called Paterno an ''influential and constant figure'' in his life.
''He was tough as my coach and demanding as my boss, but was always thoughtful and understanding when it came to my family,'' Ganter said of Paterno. He added that his family loved being part of the football program because ''Coach Paterno genuinely cared for them and always tried to make them feel that they were an important part of the program - and for that I am eternally grateful.''
Ganter, 64, also thanked fellow coaches, staffers and current coach Bill O'Brien, and singled out his former players. ''It was truly a privilege and an honor to be part of their lives,'' he said.
O'Brien praised Ganter for helping smooth the transition for the new coaching staff. He said he respected Ganter's decision to step away so that he could enjoy more time for himself and Ganter's four sons.
''I am very proud and thankful to have been a member of the Penn State Football family for the past 46 years,'' said Ganter, whose last day is Thursday.
Ganter played on the undefeated Penn State teams in 1968 and 1969. He graduated in 1971 and started his assistant coaching career the next fall.
The native of Bethel Park, Pa., was the only assistant head coach in Paterno's coaching tenure. Ganter coordinated the 1994 offense, featuring quarterback Kerry Collins and receiver Bobby Engram, that averaged 47.8 points per game - the fourth-highest scoring average in NCAA history.
Ganter is credited with coaching other notable players including running backs and first-round NFL draft picks Curt Warner, Blair Thomas and Larry Johnson, along with kickers Chris and Matt Bahr.
Ganter and Sandusky served on the same staff for years under Paterno, and both assistants at times were considered potential replacements for their boss. Sandusky left after the 1999 season.
Ganter left the coaching staff to become an associate athletic director in early 2004, about two years after his wife, Karen, had died. The responsibilities of the desk job included scheduling and other administrative duties.
He also served as director of the Football Letterman's Club, a group for former players which raised money for scholarships and supported current players. The athletic department statement included testimonials from eight former players including Collins and Warner.
''Fran was a great teammate, coach and administrator. He had opportunities to leave but was loyal to Penn State and his family,'' said former Penn State and Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Jack Ham. ''He has had a wonderful career and will be very much missed.''
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The NFL Combine is still underway in Indianapolis but the workout portions are now in the books for the four Penn State players who made the trip to work out and interview for potential NFL jobs. Linebacker Gerald Hodges appears to have had the best overall workout performance among the Nittany Lions, but defensive tackle Jordan Hill and offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch should...
One of the giants of Penn State football, former offensive coordinator and assistant head coach Fran Ganter, will retire:
“I am very proud and thankful to have been a member of the Penn State Football family for the past 46 years,” Ganter stated. [snip]
Ganter coached a number of Penn State greats, including running backs Curt Warner, D.J. Dozier, Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter...
Delaware linebacker becomes the third member of the Nittany Lions' Class of 2014. He pledged to PSU Tuesday.
It has been a tough season for the Penn State men’s basketball team, and that is a understatement. Coming into their game with Michigan the Nittany Lions had loss 14 in a row , with all those games coming in conference. Early in the season the Lions also lost their best player for the season with an injury.
It looked like PSU was well on the way to their 15 straight loss with Michigan...
See the Penn State coach had to say after his Nittany Lions upset No. 4 Michigan at the BJC Wednesday night.
‘TCU over Kansas‘ has a contender for the most surprising result of a college basketball game in 2012-2013. Tonight, Penn State, previously 0-14 in the Big Ten, defeated No. 4 Michigan at home, 84-78.
The Nittany Lions shot 10-of-20 from 3-point land, with six of those triples coming from Jermaine Marshall. As you can imagine, the fans rushed the court in epic fashion.
Just when we thought this college basketball season couldn’t get any crazier, more of the unthinkable happens. Tonight’s victim: The Michigan Wolverines. The Penn State Nittany Lions shocked the college basketball world, as they took down the #4 Michigan Wolverines by a final score of 84-78. The victory marked the first time the Nittany Lions [...]
Penn State Nittany Lions 8-18 (0-14) vs. (4) Michigan Wolverines 23-4 (10-4) Where: Bryce Jordan Center When: Wednesday, February 27, 6:30 pm TV: BTN Penn State is still looking for its first Big Ten win of the season, and it will be a big challenge to try and get it against Michigan. These teams played…
Unfortunately league rules say that the Gophers can't just end the season now and head to the NCAA Tournament and have to finish out their schedule, and as such they will welcome the Penn State Nittany Lions to Williams on Saturday, a game that just got much more interesting with Penn State's home win over Michigan last night. The Nittany Lions show signs of a team coming...
Jermaine Marshall scored 25 points and Penn State upset No. 4 Michigan 84-78 on Wednesday night for its first Big Ten victory in more than a year.
Penn State defensive lineman Jordan Hill chats one on one with FOX Sports NEXT at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
The big offensive lineman from western Pa. checked out the Nittany Lions Saturday. Though he did not receive an offer, he felt the trip was productive.
Four-star prospect Chris Godwin got a positive vibe from the Penn State staff on his recent trip to University Park.