Ex-Gateway coach Smith on the move to PSU
Former Penn State and Gateway High School star Terry Smith agreed to join James Franklin's staff at Penn State and will serve as cornerbacks coach, a source confirmed to the Tribune-Review on Sunday.
Smith, who was a co-captain of the 1991 Penn State team, spent this past season as the wide receivers coach at Temple after being the head coach at Gateway the previous 11 years.
Smith was a wide receiver as a Nittany Lions player, but among the assistants Franklin brought with him from Vanderbilt is Josh Gattis, the former wide receivers coach for the Commodores.
Smith was on the 1986 Gateway team that won the WPIAL Class AAAA championship. When reached via phone Sunday, he indicated he could not comment until later in the week.
Smith was Gateway's athletic director for a decade before resigning as coach and AD last year. He led the Gators to four WPIAL title game appearances, won more than 100 games and had 40 Division I recruits as coach.
Among Smith's highest-profile roles with Penn State will be recruiting Western Pennsylvania. He heavily recruited central and western Pennsylvania for Temple. Franklin and his staff have made no secret of their desire to increase their presence in recruiting the best WPIAL players.
The only recruit from the Class of 2014 to make a verbal commitment to Penn State is Mt. Lebanon receiver/defensive back Troy Apke. According to Rivals.com, Apke is the WPIAL's ninth-rated prospect in the class.
Four of the state's top 33 recruits, according to Rivals, are from Gateway. Two — Anthony Davis and Delvon Randall — gave verbal commitments to Temple when Smith was there.
Only four returning players who were significant contributors to the 2013 Nittany Lions are from the WPIAL.
Smith is the first known member of Franklin's staff who played or coached at Penn State. He is the fourth, though, with ties to Western Pennsylvania, joining Oakmont native Bob Shoop, Altoona native Brent Pry and Clarion University graduate Sean Spencer.
Smith is also the first known assistant who didn't work under Franklin at Vanderbilt.
Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson said the school will not officially announce the coaching staff until it is complete, but several staff members already have been on the road recruiting.