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Penn State continues pursuit of Chris Petersen

Chris Petersen AP

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.

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29 Responses to “Penn State continues pursuit of Chris Petersen”
  1. ptm1132 says: Dec 23, 2011 8:50 PM

    Well if there’s no mutual interest, then why would PSU reps make two trips in eight days all the way out to Boise?

    I don’t think this is as far fetched as you’re making it out to be.

  2. thefiesty1 says: Dec 23, 2011 9:19 PM

    I’m guessing that there is no “mutual” interest resulting in a second trip to Idaho. Singular interest, obviously, on the part of PSU grasping at straws trying to get anyone to come in and try to clean up this mess. Good luck with that.

  3. trapshoot says: Dec 23, 2011 10:05 PM

    Why would he want to leave the laid back way of life in Boise for Penn State?

  4. fatfreddystubbs says: Dec 23, 2011 10:13 PM

    So, twice in the last eight days Penn State officials have gone to Idaho to “woo” Peterson?

    Wow, the search committee is even more incompetant than i thought (or David Jones is an idiot and Taylor should be more careful who he links to), considering that Boise st (which i assume also means Peterson) has been in Las Vegas for their bowl game the last week.

  5. smokehouse56 says: Dec 23, 2011 10:18 PM

    Hey trapshoot, are you an ATA trapshooter?

  6. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 23, 2011 10:59 PM

    At the end of this Penn St is not going to get the guy they want. An ots their own fault. Nobody with any real coaching cache wants this trainwreck of a job now. May as well just keep Bradley around to weather the storm for a few years.

  7. deadeye says: Dec 23, 2011 11:21 PM

    The ongoing investigation and looming trials would not deter anyone from the PSU job IMO. I strongly suspect that the primary determining factor in a coaching prospect turning down PSU is the possibility of NCAA action against the program. No one is entirely sure what they will do, and thus it’s not worth the risk if they are comfortable where they are currently coaching.

  8. atwatercrushesokoye says: Dec 23, 2011 11:30 PM

    That’s a pretty long way down when you’re now considering stealing a football coach from Dook.

  9. burntorangehorn says: Dec 23, 2011 11:37 PM

    Petersen might have been a pretty good fit for PSU. It also was the top available job other than OSU this off-season, and if Petersen were looking for anything but the perfect job in the immediate future, I’m sure he’d have considered PSU. Wonder if there’s any truth to the rumors that there’s a handshake in place between him and Texas.

  10. dadsource says: Dec 23, 2011 11:50 PM

    You never want to be the man that follows The Man….but in this case, you would be the man following THE LEGEND into THE SCANDAL. Two huge minuses. I’m a PSU grad and just mortified at all that has gone on in the last few months.

    To say that Joe knew more….I have to say “BS!” Joe barely knew what was going on with the football program, much less all this. Especially with Mike McQueary’s testimony, downplaying what he saw? He just threw Joe FREAKING Paterno out of a job, and now says that he’s ‘not sure’ what he saw? Wow!

    On the coaching side, I’ve ALWAYS wanted Jeff Tedford of Cal. He recruited well in an area going against USC, UCLA, Standford, Oregon, ASU, etc…and found top talent, he’s a groomer of quarterbacks (Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boeller, and Aaron Rogers), he’s had good running backs (Marshawn Lynch, JJ Arrington, Jahvid Best), runs a wonderful spread offense, and has been scandal free his whole career.

    He has no PSU ties (a plus) and is only 50.


  11. paulieorkid says: Dec 24, 2011 1:02 AM

    How can you not love Petersen, but we have no chance going down that path.

    So what happened to Tom Clement?

    That would be a sweet hire.

  12. pdcooper08 says: Dec 24, 2011 1:26 AM

    You know you bring up a lot of great points regard coach Tedford. It appears he has run out of steam up in Berkley anyway. Theres not much more he can get from Cal and I can see there alum’s starting to turn on him. He is really in a tough spot there. He is working from the same system as UCLA and we see they can no longer compete with the big boys. The budget isn’t there and won’t be returning. It’s time for him to move on. Tedford has a great football mind and run a solid program. I think he would be an excellent selection now that you bring him up.

  13. dadsource says: Dec 24, 2011 1:29 AM


    You hit it on the head- you can’t go up against that many recruiting obstacles and be successful every year. The guy is a dang football genius and was a hot name for a while, but is now on the hot SEAT? They should give him a medal for doing as well as he has- great football mind!

    Where do I start lobbying?

  14. Pac12ute says: Dec 24, 2011 6:37 AM

    Petersen is considered a diety by the Boise State supporters. Why on earth would he leave a job that he could retire from 30 years down the road to go coach at PSU and get fired if you have a couple of down years? His team is earning respect inch by inch, but hasn’t earned a chair at the adult table yet. At PSU, he would instantly be in the spotlight and criticized for everything because the bar is so much higher.

    I can’t blame the guy for turning down every job offered. $1.5 million in Boise goes a loooooooong way! Besides that, he seems content with running things his way, not the boosters, AD’s, or anyone else’s way. He took over a good program and kept it running that way. The man is sitting pretty and with each offer he passes on, the next one increases.

    What I can’t wait to see is the look on the PSU board’s faces when they realize that they’ll have to shell out what they were paying JoePa to hire average assistant coaches, let alone the $2.5-3 million that their first sacrificial boyscout head coach will demand for taking all the heat during the upcoming roller coaster.

  15. gripless says: Dec 24, 2011 10:46 AM

    Train wreck of a job?!

    Hard to believe so many stupid people visit this site. Penn State has some short term issues to get past but wake up if you think this program is comparable to other broken programs. Players graduate at the highest percentage in the country, zero football violations just a scum bag coach that they ran out 5+ years ago.

    The program will bounce back despite the cast of characters that seemed focused on trying to bury a good program. An insightful coach will see this as an opportunity to get into one of the best programs in the country.

  16. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Dec 24, 2011 1:10 PM

    I read somewhere (either here or Bleacher Report) that Petersen hated living in Pa when he was the QB coach at Pitt. I doubt he would pass on the other jobs he was offered and accept one from PSU.

  17. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 24, 2011 3:03 PM

    Gripless , PSU is a train wreck right now. And if it was such a coveted job right now why haven’t they hired someone yet? Seems to me that if a job is so great there’s every top assistant and hot lower level head coach lining up to get their foot in the door. And that doesn’t seem to be happening rightnow. And it wasn’t just a scumbag coach it was scumbags from the top of the unoversity all the way down.

  18. dhlions says: Dec 24, 2011 3:48 PM

    Petersen will take the job because there is excellent fly fishing in central PA.

    Just ask Joe Humphrey.

  19. dhlions says: Dec 24, 2011 3:52 PM


    Do you honestly think PSU is the dark regarding how much they’re going to have to pay the new staff if they want to be competitive? They rake in more money than most other schools in the country with higher paid coaches. Funding is not holding back this search.

  20. dadsource says: Dec 24, 2011 4:57 PM

    Brewcrew and Dhlions….

    Read Mcqueary’s testimony and what he REALLY said….media ran away with one ‘alleged’ quote, but actually….Mcqueary has really backed off of the ‘sodomy’ and now calls it ‘horsing around’…..pretty amazing considering he tanked many careers over the ‘anal rape’ statement of earlier….

    And Dhlions, PSU does rake in the 3rd most $$$ of all universities…….but higher paid coaches? $554,000 was his salary in 2011. Well below the top 20 ASSISTANTS in the USA.

    Cmon, get the facts, leave the feelings to Oprah on the couch….

  21. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 24, 2011 5:08 PM

    Dadsource. I’ve heard the testimony and it doesn’t make this Penn St job any less radioactive than it currently is. And it doesn’t make me think Paterno and his “superiors” still reacted correctly. It was no doubt something sexual occured and McQuery told them. All they did was kick him off campus essentially saying you can fondle little boys just not on campus.

  22. dadsource says: Dec 24, 2011 5:11 PM

    I don’t think the ‘full’ truth has come out yet. I was disgusted, angered, ashamed, and beside myself at first…then, thought Paterno got the shaft, then, once the testimony came out….wonder how I would have handled it if I were coach……

    Only time will tell, if Paterno’s health holds out….

  23. brewcrewfan54 says: Dec 24, 2011 5:50 PM

    I agree about wondering how I would react. I can sit here and say I would have called the police imediately but I don’t know that that would have happened 100%. I’d like to think so but it’s a difficult position. And the fact remains that something happend there back in 1998-99 also. A 55 year old DC doesn’t retire coming off a season in which he won nation assistant of the year honors. People knew about things for a log time and continued to do nothing about it.

  24. fmlizard says: Dec 24, 2011 7:37 PM

    This might be a good time for Petersen to get out of Dodge…Moore is gone, they just joined the bizarre confederation that is the Big East.

    PSU is a difficult situation, but not really. They have talent and resources and brand, and the Sandusky situation is not going to loom over them forever.

  25. dhlions says: Dec 24, 2011 10:45 PM


    Let’s see, others on the Forbes’s list BELOW Penn State in terms of value and ABOVE Joe Paterno’s TOTAL compensation:

    LSU – Les Miles – $3.75 million
    Bama – Saban – ~$4 million
    Oklahoma – Stoops – ~$3.7 million

    …and so on. Catch my drift?

  26. dadsource says: Dec 24, 2011 10:56 PM

    Uh, didn’t you just prove my point? So apparently you caught MY drift! You didn’t read the post!

  27. tobeexact says: Dec 25, 2011 8:19 AM

    First I would like to give credit to boise st. ,its football program and for being number two in athletic graduation rates. Also I believe coach peterson is one of the top coaches in college football today, and that if he had access to players that schools like lsu, alabama,psu, ohio st etc. there is no doubt in my mind he would dominate.
    As far as psu being toxic and saying they cant get a coach is simply idiotic, every coach that is pursued by another school while still coaching says the same thing. Im not leaving,no one has contacted me etc, look how long urban meyer drug out this same scenario at ohio st.
    And as far as ncaa sanctions , who every thinks that they can impose sanctions against psu really doesn’t have a clue . Actually I wish they would try so psu could sue the crap out of them and take half of the 500 million they just got for tv deal. Talk about hypocritical , they have the balls to tell all the universities that football shouldnt take front stage over academics ,yet they do. And for that matter every school in college football does ,but they told psu that they shouldnt be known as a football university first. Well as stated in some of the above comments ,psu is number uno in academic graduation rates among college athletes and the kicker is its the same across the board for black athletes as well. And it is a fact they are number three in revenue among colleges and by far number one in the BIG .
    Now as far as who could have did what about sandusky and reporting it, under the law which also states that with second hand news you also have a moral obligation , thats right a moral obligation to not report it your self and possible ruin another persons career and reputation when you did not witness the alleged act. Doesnt
    mean you dont believe that the person is innocent.
    And another fact is curley,schults,spanier or paterno had the authority to boot him off campus legally, only the Bot does , they on his retirement package which included access to the facilities.
    As far as joe pa saying after the fact , maybe i should have done more , well if your a true psu fan as I am then you would know that he says that to almost every questioned asked by the media,for example , after a lets say a bowl game loss , could I have done more ,sure probably , should have etc, so dont try and put your espn spin on it, especially when they bashed joe pa ,psu and the university ,yet they claimed the same moral obligation for not turning over the tap in 2002 that was giving to them by one of the alleged victims. And to say this is the worst molestation case ever is also ridiculous,its actually minor compared to past cases.
    And for people who dont know about the Sunshine act or law perhaps you should read it, as far as joe pa using it to sue psu or the AG or anyone else ,i doubt it, he has to much cass to do that.
    And to end my comments, would I like to see another coach with class ,morals and dedication to his athletes like coach peterson take over psu , absolutely, will he i dont think so and not because of the scandal,but because he really does enjoy where he is. And just because psu hasn’t announced a coach , doesn’t mean they cant get one.

  28. paulieorkid says: Dec 25, 2011 9:52 AM

    We at Penn State have long struggled to recruit true blue chip QBs. Even the ones we won National Titles with were far from elite.

    Tom Clement, by my estimation, would go a long, long, lonnng way toward turning our QB drought around — not to mention getting our offense into cutting edge of the 21st century.

    It’d be awesome if we still have a shot at Petersen — but it would be just as great (IMO) if we still have a shot at Clement.

    Aside from each of the outstanding credentials — they’re also both very classy, high integrity good guys who are each highly respected and are precisely what we need to get our program turned around at this dreadful time and get it headed in the right direction.

  29. tobeexact says: Dec 26, 2011 9:18 AM

    I would have to agree with the above post,by pauli.
    I think tom clement would be a perfect fit for penn state and the facts that one he is a PA. native , two he wants the job,three he has a ton of support from nfl coaches and players.
    What more could you want, and perhaps and im not knocking clark or robinson ,but we had 3 great qbs that penn state chose not to groom when they chose psu over almost every major school in college football. The latest being devlin who also was a PA. native And was ranked as the number one qb zoning out of high school. Then you had marelli who I believe was ranked in the top 3 along with zack mills.
    So when other top ranked qbs see that , why would they come rto psu, and the results are for the last two years we were stuck with bolden or mcgloin. So if we were to get clements not only would he be able to recruit top qbs but top receivers as well. I blame alot of penn states anemic offense on galen hall, the man and his play calling are sub par at best and so predictable that a high school defense could prepare for it.
    For example first n goal from the one,no play action pass ,no receivers spreading out the defense,so you allow the opposing team to put all eleven defenders in the box, well your never going to win that battle. We actually had a loaded offense this year with talent on the offensive line,a bunch of really good rubbing backs,redd was right there in total yards with all of the top backs in the country, and we had a great group of receivers as well. Even with sub par qb play we still could of scored alot more.points per game and in the red zone .
    I hope that if tom bradley doesnt get the HC job that he decides to stick around and deserves a decent pay increase if he does . On the same hand I wouldnt blame him if he was offered a HC job and took it,but his latest comments suggest he wants to stay regardless,as in I want to retire from coaching at psu.

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