Ganter leaves Penn State after 46 years

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 27, 2013
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.''
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Hit Stick: What is the one sports video game fans need to buy this holiday?
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Leicester City put up three goals in first 20 minutes against Manchester City

Houston regent: Lane Kiffin ‘was not a safe hire’

Adam Jones takes a shot at Terrelle Pryor

Jeff Fisher, Les Snead deny ‘toxic’ relationship reports

‘Field of Dreams’ 24-diamond complex clears final hurdle, will build on site from film

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Report: Police close to arresting Matt Barnes for alleged assault

Carmelo: Cryptic Instagram posts were about Phil Jackson

DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors won’t go away

NFL folks think Jabrill Peppers ‘more hype than substance'?

Winners, losers and what is still pending from baseball's 2016 Winter Meetings

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

Five teams on upset alert in NFL Week 14

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Winners, losers and what is still pending from the 2016 Winter Meetings

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker