Penn State Associate Athletic Director for Football
Fran Ganter is in his 8th year as Associate Athletic Director for Football after 37 years as a Penn State football player and coach. Named to his new post in February 2004, he oversees a variety of administrative aspects of the program.
A running back for the Nittany Lions from 1967-1970, Ganter helped Penn State compile a 29-3 record, including undefeated seasons in 1968 and ’69. Winner of the squad’s Red Worrell Award in 1970, he graduated in 1971 and was the freshman coach the next fall, beginning a tenure that would last 33 years on the coaching staff. Ganter was a graduate assistant and J.V. coach before being named running backs and placekickers coach in 1978.
A native of Bethel Park, PA, Ganter was named offensive coordinator in 1984 and in 2000 he was named Assistant Head Coach of the Nittany Lions. He helped Penn State to 28 bowl berths as a coach, three more as a player, five undefeated seasons and two national titles.
During his highly successful tenure, Ganter coached six running backs and two kickers that earned first-team All-American honors. During his twenty years overseeing the offense, he was instrumental in the development of the 12 offensive players that were first –team All-Americans and many others that played in the National Football League.
Ganter coached a number of Penn State greats, including running backs Curt Warner, D.J. Dozier, Blair Thomas, Ki-Jana Carter, Curtis Enis and Larry Johnson, all of whom were first-team All-Americans and first-round NFL Draft picks, as well as All-American kickers Chris and Matt Bahr.
Among the other standouts he coached are running backs Sam Gash, Richie Anderson, Matt Suhey, Steve Smith, Gary Brown, Leroy Thompson, Jon Witman, Brian Milne, Eddie Drummond and Omar Easy and kickers Brett Conway and Robbie Gould, all of whom played in the NFL.
Among the many prolific offenses that Ganter directed, the 1994 NIttany Lions rank among the best in college football history. Penn State led the nation in total offense (520.2ypg) and scoring with its 47.8 ppg. average, ranking as the fourth- highest scoring average in NCAA history. The unit broke 14 team school records, led The Big Ten in every offensive category and shattered the record for scoring in Big Ten games with a 48.1 ppg average.
Ganter was named Assistant Coach-of-the Year by Athion in 1994, as the Nittany Lions won both the Big Ten Conference Championship and The Rose Bowl, becoming the first team in Big Ten history to go 12-0.
Along with his other administrative duties, he serves as Director of the Penn State Football Letterman’s Club. With over 1,000 dues paying members, the Penn State FLC has raised funds to sponsor 3 separate football related scholarships. Fran serves as a board member of the Penn State Quarterback Club and the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.
Ganter was inducted into the Bethel Park Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000 was a 2010 inductee into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
Fran has four sons–Jonathan, Christopher, Jason and Ben. Jonathan played football at Princeton from 1998 to 2002; Chris played at Penn State from 2001-04; Jason played for the NIttany Lions from 2003-07 and Ben played at Cornell University from 2006-2010.