Tag:Penn State Coaching Search
Posted on: January 6, 2012 12:27 am
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Bill O'Brien may stay with Pats past Signing Day

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Penn State is expected to announce the hiring of New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien on Saturday, according to CBSSports.com NFL reporter Mike Freeman. That brings a merciful end to the Penn State coaching search, as the PSU job was the last to be filled in all of the FBS.

The thing is, however, if reports are true, O'Brien won't be on Penn State's campus immediately -- and the wait could potentially extend past a very important deadline. According to Boston Herald Patriots beat reporter Ian Rapoport, O'Brien will remain the Patriots' offensive coordinator throughout the playoffs. And while the NFL playoffs start this weekend, the Patriots' season won't be ending so soon. New England is the top seed in the AFC, meaning the Patriots have a bye week this week, and are the favorite to make it to Super Bowl XLVI.

Penn State fans should be rooting for an early upset for the Pats, though, because if the Patriots do make it to the Super Bowl, O'Brien's going to be a member of that staff until February 5. That date is important, because Signing Day -- the first day that college football recruits can sign letters of intent with their preferred school -- is the preceding Tuesday, February 1. Now, top seeds are hardly locks to make the Super Bowl in today's NFL, but the Patriots under Bill Belichick have one of the best track records in the playoffs of any NFL franchise over the last decade or so.

O'Brien is expected to do some recruiting while he's still with New England, and he wouldn't be the first coach to pull double-duty like this; Rapoport also noted on his feed that Charlie Weis did so at New England as he prepared to take over Notre Dame, and Sylvester Croom was similarly stretched between Green Bay and Mississippi State when he was first hired. Unfortunately, as Rapoport also noted, such double duty hampered the coaches' first recruiting classes considerably, and it's also worth noting that both coaches were fired after five seasons -- right when that first recruiting class would have been full of redshirt seniors.

It would then behoove Penn State to retain Tom Bradley (the defensive coordinator-turned-interim coach who has led the team since the Penn State Board of Trustees fired longtime coach Joe Paterno on November 9 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal) and offer him his old position as defensive coordinator, much in the same way that Ohio State has honored interim head coach Luke Fickell since the hiring of Urban Meyer. That way, Bradley can also focus his efforts on recruiting and salvage a Penn State class that by Big Ten standards is mediocre, and by Penn State standards is subpar.

It does not portend well for Bradley's future with Penn State, however, that the only word from him was that he had not been told of any hiring plans by the school as of Thursday night, according to Blue White Illustrated. If Bradley is not motivated to remain committed to the recruiting trail for Penn State while O'Brien tries to balance recruiting and coaching the Patriots for however long New England's season lasts, Penn State's recruiting class will undoubtedly suffer, and that's another hurdle that this suddenly flailing program does not need to have added to the race ahead.

For more breaking news on Penn State, follow the team's RapidReports by Jim Rodenbush.

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Posted on: January 4, 2012 2:12 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2012 2:26 pm
 

Report: Schiano not interested in Penn St. job

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The Penn State coaching search still appears no closer to reaching its conclusion after another potential candidate has reportedly expressed his lack of interest in the position.

StateCollege.com had reported earlier Wednesday that Rutgers coach Greg Schiano had been targeted as a possible candidate for the Nittany Lion position, citing flight records and a source claiming that "something is going on with" the Scarlet Knight head coach. But multiple outlets -- including the original report, now updated, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- have since indicated that Schiano has not interviewed for the position and is "not interested" in replacing Joe Paterno.

For years, Schiano has been rumored to be a prime candidate (if not the prime candidate) to take over when Paterno left. A former Nittany Lion assistant coach under JoePa, Schiano's resuscitation of the Scarlet Knights and ties to Happy Valley would seem to make him a natural fit, and Schiano's alleged coveting of the Penn State job has often been blamed for his not taking a position at a larger program already. (He was rumored to have been one of Michigan's top selections, for instance when Lloyd Carr retired in 2007.)

But whether because that interest was never as strong as reported, the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, or Schiano's willingness to simply repay the faith shown in him at Rutgers, he does not appear to be an option for the Nittany Lions at this time. 

With NFL-based candidates Bill O'Brien and Mike Munchak also recently denying interest, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements may remain the top candidate, though how much interest the school actually has in Clements is a matter of conjecture.

The head coaching position at PSU has been open since Nov. 9, when Paterno was fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees after offering to resign at the end of the year. It is the only FBS head coaching position currently vacant.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview

Posted on: January 1, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: January 1, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Report: Penn State closing in on Patriots OC

Posted by Chip Patterson

The search to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State is reportedly nearing the end, according to a USA Today source.

Jonny Saraceno reported Sunday that a person with knowledge of the Penn State coaching search say New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is set to be the next head football coach of the Nittany Lions. ESPN's Adam Schefter also is reporting O'Brien as the leading candidate, after just one year serving in his current post with the Patriots.

The Patriots close out the regular season Sunday at home against division rival Buffalo. Saraceno reports that "only contract details need to be finalized before O'Brien is the man."

O'Brien has been an assistant on the New England staff since 2007, after stops at Brown (his alma mater), Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Duke. In addition to being the offensive coordinator this season, the 42-year old Massachusetts native has been quarterbacks coach for Tom Brady since 2009.

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak, a former Penn State offensive lineman, was reportedly the top choice to replace Joe Paterno but just this week officially stated his lack of interest in the position at this time.

For all the latest on Penn State's coaching search and preparation for the TicketCity Bowl against Houston on Jan. 2, follow Nittany Lions Rapid Reports.

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Posted on: December 26, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Report: Chris Petersen not interested in Penn St.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Well, you can't blame Penn State for trying, can you? 

The Nittany Lions are conducting what by their own admission has a been a "deliberate and measured" search for Joe Paterno's replacement and are the final FBS team to fill their 2011 head coaching vacancy. But any complaints would have been quickly silenced if they could become the program that finally pries away Chris Petersen from Boise State. It's no surprise a Penn St. official reportedly visited Idaho twice last week in an effort to make the program's pitch to Petersen. 

But like every other previous suitor for the Bronco coach's services, that pitch has fallen on deaf ears--if it was ever even heard in the first place. The Patriot-News's David Jones has reported that Petersen "has made it known he is not interested in Penn State's vacant head coaching position."

Jones writes that the decision is "no shocker," and surely it isn't; after he turned down all manner of high-profile jobs the previous several offseasons (including UCLA earlier this month), convincing Petersen to take a scandal-plagued position that several lesser coaches have already shied away from was always the longest of long shots.

But given the position Penn State finds itself in -- no coach and not even any real leads on one, with Signing Day rapidly approaching and the fanbase growing more nervous by the day -- Petersen was the kind of prize that was worth taking that shot anyway. The only criticism to be made is if that shot came out of desperation, and with it having failed, the search is poised to go on for several more days ... or even weeks.
Posted on: December 22, 2011 4:18 pm
 

Penn St. taking "measured approach" to search

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

The numbers at the CBSSports.com Coaching Changes One-Stop Shop don't lie about the speed (or lack thereof) of the Penn State coaching search; 24 of this year's 25 coaching vacancies have been filled, and despite the Nittany Lions accepting the resignation of Joe Paterno with multiple games still remaining in the 2011 season, PSU is the only FBS program still without a permanent head coach.

Perhaps responding to that factoid (and the wave of hirings in the past 48 hours at places like Hawaii, Houston, Akron, and Pitt), Penn State acting athletic director Dave Joyner issued a statement Thursdayaddressing the progress of the search. Unfortunately for Nittany Lions fans, the statement won't do much to calm fears the new coach won't be in place anytime soon:
"As we head into the holidays, I wanted to share an update on the search for the next head football coach at Penn State. We are continuing to talk with individuals that we're interested in and work through the interview process. As I'm sure all can appreciate, this is a very important hire for Penn State and, as a result, the search committee is taking a very deliberate and measured approach to the process in order to identify the coach that best fits the requirements of the position.

"We look forward to introducing our new football coach at the appropriate time. In the interim, I'd like to wish everyone happy holidays as well as remind all Penn Staters to support our team and its 23 seniors as they compete against the 12-1 Houston Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on January 2nd." 
"Working through the interview process" while "taking a very deliberate and measured approach" to hiring the next Nittany Lion head coach "at the appropriate time" certainly doesn't sound like the words of an administrator who feels confident he's going to have his new coach signed in the next few days. 

Perhaps even more worrying for Penn State supporters is that even the rumor mill has slowed to a crawl where the Nittany Lions are concerned. After the flurry of initial (and apparently wayward) reports connecting Dan Mullen to Happy Valley, few serious names have emerged or been discussed as anything other than longshots. Patriot-News beat writer David Jones wrote earlier this week that in the course of covering the search, he's "learning more about guys who I believe won't be in the mix in the end than those who will be." With latest candidate du jour Bo Pelini denying any connection with the PSU job, Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements may be the de facto front-runner.

Hiring Clements, of course, might mean waiting until after the Packers play the Super Bowl to fill the Lion head coaching office. Joyner is right that the school's decision can't be rushed, and if the right choice is Clements or any other coach who either isn't available or who they haven't found yet, then it'll be worth the wait. (And there's little doubt that Joyner has difficulties facing him that aren't facing your typical coaching search.) But with Signing Day starting to peek over the horizon and the search looking more and more desperate as well as "deliberate", that introductory press conference still can't come soon enough for the Lions.
Posted on: December 2, 2011 6:11 pm
 

Mullen denies report of interview with Penn State

Posted by Adam Jacobi

On Wednesday, Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen denied reports that he was interested in the open Penn State job. That, actually, is putting it mildly; Mullen said the report was "the most irresponsible reporting that I've ever heard of," and blamed the entire situation on Ole Miss -- or "a rival institution," since Mullen never actually mentions Ole Miss by name.

It stands to reason, then, that Mullen would not appreciate the latest report from Phil Grosz of BlueWhiteIllustrated.com that Mullen will interview at Penn State on Monday. There were no more particulars offered than just that, but that's enough to raise a few eyebrows by itself.

Mullen quickly denied this latest report, telling Brandon Marcello of The Clarion-Ledger "No." when asked point-blank if he would interview with Penn State, then offered an even more thorough denial of any involvement in the Penn State coaching search.

“Amidst all of these reports, neither myself, my agent or the administration at Mississippi State University has been contacted by anybody at Penn State,” Mullen told The Clarion-Ledger. “I’m very happy of the direction the Mississippi State program is going in right now.”

Normally, this would be where one would point out that Mullen and his agent could just be in contact with a third-party search firm and that such firms are not uncommon with coaching searches at major universities. And yet, according to PennLive.com, acting athletic director David Joyner said he won't retain a consultant for this search.

Joyner will likely be receiving information on the hire from Penn State's boosters, so that's another third party that could have some sort of contact with Mullen and his agent (though how much, if any, is obviously unknown and subject to change on a daily basis). Past that, however, it's very difficult to take both the BWI report and Mullen's denial and conclude anything other than "somebody somewhere is lying."

For a full, updating team-by-team overview of 2011's coaching changes, check out (and bookmark) the Eye on CFB Coaching Changes One-Stop Shop. And voice your opinion for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year by voting HERE.  
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com