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The Penn State Nittany Lions football team represents the Pennsylvania State University in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Bowl Subdivision as a member of the Big Ten Conference. Penn State has played all home games at Beaver Stadium since 1960. The team is currently coached by Bill O'Brien.
Early History (1892-1917)
George W. Hoskins was the first head football coach in Penn State football history. He posted a 17-4-4 record in his four seasons as head coach, and his .76 winning percentage ranks highest in program history.
He was succeeded by Samuel B. Newton, who posted a 12-14 record in three seasons.
Pop Golden coached the Nittany Lions for three seasons from 1900-1902, tallying a record of 16-12-1.
Tom Fennell coached the Nittany Lions for five seasons from 1904-1908, posting a 33-17-1 record.
Brothers Bill and Jack Hollenback also served as head football coaches at Penn State, posting 28-9-4 and 5-2-1, respectively.
Dick Harlow brought a new form of defense, trying to go in-between or around offensive blockers rather than try to overpower them. Harlow posted a 20-8 record in his three seasons (1915-1917) and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach for his accomplishments.
Hugo Bezdek was Penn State's head football coach for 12 seasons and the Nittany Lions' first athletics director. Bezdek posted a 65-30-11 record, which included two undefeated seasons and a berth in the 1922 Rose Bowl, a game they lost. Bezdek's Nittany Lions posted a losing record in only two of Bezdek's seasons, going 1-2-1 in 1918 and 3-5-1 in 1928. Bezdek retired after the 1929 season and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954.
Bob Higgins returned to his alma mater and served as Penn State's head football coach for 19 seasons. He compiled a 91-57-11 overall record, which included 11 winning seasons and only five losing seasons. Higgins' 1947 team tied SMU in the Cotton Bowl. Higgins was forced to retire due to poor health following the 1948 season. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1954.