Ganter picked for Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame's Western Chapter

April 02, 2010

University Park, Pa. — One of the players and coaches responsible for helping establish and keep Penn State among the nation's premier football programs will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame's Western Chapter.

Fran Ganter, who has been a member of the Penn State Football family since 1967, has been selected for the Western Chapter's 40th Sports Hall of Fame induction class. The Bethel Park, Pa. native will be among the honorees on Saturday, May 1 at the Induction Ceremonial at the Sheraton Four Points Hotel in Warrendale.

Ganter is among 12 inductees that include: Art Rooney, Jr., Vice President of the Pittsburgh Steelers; Doug Plank, who played with the Chicago Bears and George Novak, head football coach at Woodland Hills High School.

Ganter has served as Penn State's Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration since 2004 and oversees a variety of administrative facets of the football program. He has helped the Nittany Lions earn a 51-13 record since 2005, tied for the nation's seventh-best winning percentage, with two Big Ten Championships, two BCS berths and victories in four different bowls the past five years.

A standout at Bethel Park High School, Ganter moved into football administration after 37 years as a Penn State player and coach.

A running back for Coach Joe Paterno's Nittany Lions from 1967-70, Ganter helped Penn State earn 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 Penn State's freshman coach the next fall, beginning a tenure that would last 33 years on the coaching staff. Ganter was named a graduate assistant coach in 1972, earning his master's degree in education that same year, and served as junior varsity coach for several years before being named running backs and kickers coach in 1978.

Ganter was named offensive coordinator in 1984 and in 2000 he was named Assistant Head Coach of the Nittany Lions.

During his highly-successful tenure on the Penn State staff, Ganter coached six running backs and two kickers that earned first team All-America honors. During his 20 years overseeing the offense, he was instrumental in the development of 12 offensive players that earned first team All-America accolades.

A listing of some of the players coached by Ganter is a litany of Nittany Lion 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 selections. Warner was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 2009.

Ganter also coached kickers Chris and Matt Bahr, who were first team All-Americans, as well as standout kickers Craig Fayak, Brett Conway, Travis Forney and Robbie Gould. Fayak, Conway and Forney rank No. 2-4 on the Penn State career scoring list and Gould is an All-Pro kicker with the Chicago Bears.

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 (520.2 ypg) and scoring with their 47.8 ppg average still ranking as the ninth-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, a mark that remains.

Ganter was selected Assistant Coach of the Year by Athlon in 1994, as the Nittany Lions won the Big Ten and Rose Bowl crowns, becoming the first team in Big Ten history to finish 12-0.

Ganter has four sons - Jonathan, Christopher, Jason and Ben - all of whom played college football. Jonathan played football at Princeton, Chris played at Penn State from 2001-04, Jason played for the Nittany Lions from 2003-07 and Ben was a senior quarterback at Cornell last fall.

  • Fran Ganter

    IMAGE: Penn State Sports Information

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010