Penn State Football: Multiple Assistants Leave Program As Coaching Search Continues
While Penn State continues the search for a new head coach, current Penn State assistants are headed out the door, likely to join the staff of Houston Texans' head coach Bill O'Brien.
As of 3 p.m. Monday, Penn State confirmed that assistants Craig Fitzgerald, Stan Hixon, Charles London and Anthony Midget had all submitted their resignations, effective today.
FightOnState.com reported Monday morning that strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald would join O'Brien in Houston. Multiple outlets reported last week that receivers' coach Stan Hixon would join O'Brien as well. The outlet also reported on Monday afternoon that defensive coordinator John Butler would join O'Brien in Texas. Penn State had no comment regarding Butler's employment with Penn State at the time of this story.
Running back coach Charles London and safeties coach Anthony Midget's futures were not specified by Penn State, but it is reasonable to assume they too will join O'Brien. Last week, O'Brien fired all of the Texans staffers he inherited staff, a common move during a coaching change.
As a result, Penn State's coaching staff currently consists of interim head coach Larry Johnson Sr, tight end coach John Strollo, and offensive line coach Mac McWhorter. Prior to O'Brien's departure, longtime linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden and quarterback coach Charlie Fisher both resigned from their respective positions. A move that was believed to be initiated by O'Brien rather than those coaches quitting the program.
While uncommon to Penn State due to a rather stagnant coaching tradition in terms of annual turnover, assistants often follow departed head coaches to their next destination or are replaced by new incoming head coaches. So while it may seem a cause for concern for Penn State fans unaccustomed to the ever-changing college landscape, moves such as the ones that took place Monday are common.
Penn State continues a search for a new head coach that sources anticipate moving quickly over the next week or so.