There’s a miniscule chance that Chris Petersen will leave Boise State for just about any other job in the country at this point in time, let alone stepping into the “situation” at Penn State.
That didn’t stop the school from pursuing the coach earlier this month. And apparently it’s not stopping them from continuing it, either.
According to David Jones of the Patriot-News, and citing two sources close to the search, a member of Penn State’s search committee made two trips to Idaho within the past eight days in what were believed to be attempts to recruit Petersen. Jones writes that “[i]t is not known what, if anything, resulted from those attempts.”
As a public service, we now give you the results of those attempts: nothing but additional frequent flier miles.
There’s no reason to begrudge PSU for conducting what will likely be a fruitless pursuit. And there’s a reason why a report earlier this month quoted a person familiar with the search as saying Petersen is atop PSU’s coaching to-do list and is “the kind of guy who interests them“; he’s one of the top coaches in the country. Of course he’s the object of many school’s desires, much like he was with UCLA and Texas A&M earlier this year, with the overtures from both schools being shot down.
Pre-Jerry Sandusky scandal, Petersen may — may — have reciprocated the interest PSU is expressing. Combine the toxicity of the State College situation with the fact that’s he’s spent exactly one season east of Idaho since he began coaching in 1987, though, and it all adds up to possibly being time for the search to shift whatever time and focus is dedicated to a pie-in-the-sky candidate to more realistic ones.
As for who those may be, the paper mentions Tennessee Titans’ head coach and former PSU player Mike Munchak — he’s already denied any interest in the job — and a pair of current coaches at the collegiate level — Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe and Duke’s David Cutcliffe.