Penn State Football Coach Search: List of Candidates Dwindles
The list of coaches who can be considered candidates for the Penn State head coaching job is dwindling with the news that Greg Schiano is not interested in the position.
A source close to Schiano told StateCollege.com on Wednesday that the Rutgers head coach has not interviewed with Penn State and has no plans to.
Here is a rundown of the coaching search that began on Nov. 28, nearly three weeks after Joe Paterno was fired on Nov. 9:
Green Bay Packers quarterback coach Tom Clements, 58, is the candidate slated to have a second interview with Penn State representatives, according to sources close to both parties. As the top seed in the NFC, Green Bay has a bye in the first week of the NFL playoffs on Jan. 7-8.
Clements, a McKees Rocks, Pa., native who quarterbacked Notre Dame to the 1973 national championship, was an assistant head coach at his alma mater under Lou Holtz. Clements has coached five NFL teams, including the Steelers. He currently tutors Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the MVP of last year’s Super Bowl.
Greg Roman, the first-year offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, confirmed to radio station 97.3 ESPN in New Jersey on Tuesday that he had interviewed for the head coaching position at Penn State several weeks ago. But, he said, he has not heard anything from the school since.
Roman, 39, spent two years as an offensive coach at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh and has coached in the NFL for 14 seasons, with Carolina, Houston and Baltimore. At Stanford, he helped guide the Cardinal to a 20-6 record and mentored back-to-back Heisman Trophy runners-up – running back Toby Gearhart (2009) and quarterback Andrew Luck (2010).
“I’ve spoken with Penn State, had some discussions with them about a month ago,” said Roman, a native of Ventnor, N.J., “and found everybody involved on their end to be extremely intelligent, extremely focused on finding the best person they could under the unique circumstances there at Penn State.
“A job like Penn State is a lifetime job. That’s a job if I were to become the head coach there, I’d wouldn’t leave there. I’d be back East, setting up camp, I’d be at the (Jersey) Shore in the summer. And that would be my routine.”
Mike Munchak, 51, the first-year head coach of the Tennessee Titans, definitively pulled his name from consideration on Tuesday in a season-ending press conference. Munchak was a standout guard at Penn State in 1979 and ’81 before embarking on a Hall of Fame career with the NFL’s Houston/Tennessee franchise.
Munchak, several sources have told StateCollege.com, had reached out to assess the interest of former Nittany teammates and players in joining his staff if he were to be hired by Penn State. But, in the end, Munchak opted to stay with the only employer he has known since he was a first-round draft pick in 1982.
“I think it was flattering that people thought that I could fit that role and fit a need they had,” Munchak said on Tuesday. “But like I said it never came to that. I am happy with what I’m doing. This is a great situation for me in Nashville and a lot of that was just speculation.”
Bill O’Brien, 42, the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach of the New England Patriots, interviewed for the head coaching position, according to USA Today and ESPN. His agent later said that if O’Brien were to leave the Patriots, it would be for a head coaching job in the NFL.
Also, The Patriot News in Harrisburg reported that Boise State’s Chris Petersen was visited twice by Penn State officials in late December, but they were ultimately rebuffed. Georgia’s Mark Richt, Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe and Duke’s David Cutcliffe also have been frequently named as candidates.
In addition to Bradley, three other Penn State assistant coaches met with the committee: quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Sr. and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden. Former PSU assistant Brian Norwood, the associate head coach at Baylor, also interviewed with his former employer.