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Report: pair of candidates to get second Penn State interviews

Tom Bradley AP

With a report surfacing earlier Saturday that Mike Munchak may be privately vacillating on his very public denial of interest in the Penn State vacancy, the school is moving forward with a followup round of interviews with a couple of interviewees.

And, somewhat surprisingly, one of those two is very, very familiar to both the university and its fan base.

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, interim Nittany Lions head coach Tom Bradley and Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements will be interviewed a second time, perhaps as early as next Tuesday.  The paper notes that each of those two candidates has been vetted by the university’s search committee, which is code for “no Jerry Sandusky skeletons to see here”.

The inclusion of Bradley as what appears to be a viable candidate to replace Joe Paterno is somewhat surprising, due mainly to the fact that it was thought the football program would clean house in an effort to distance itself from the stain of the Sandusky child-sex scandal.  Bradley has been an assistant at Penn State since 1979, and was on the staff when the first allegations against Sandusky came to university official’s attention in the late 90s.

Clements, a western Pennsylvania native, has made it publicly clear that he wants the job.

In addition to Bradley and Clements, the Tribune-Review writes that “Penn State officials also hope to speak with at least one top assistant from a team playing in a BCS bowl game, though the assistant’s identity and team was not known by the sources.”

It would be safe to assume that “top assistant” means an offensive or defensive coordinator, or someone with an “associate” or “assistant” tag connected to his job title.  It would also be safe to assume we know the identity of the 10 teams participating in BcS bowls this season.  So, as a public service, we’ll list the coordinators on each side of the ball for every team playing in a BcS bowl, and then allow you to jump to your own conclusions.

Enjoy, but please, speculate responsibly.  And, if you can’t, please find a designated speculator:

OREGON
Offensive coordinator: Mark Helfrich —  has never coached east of Colorado.
Defensive coordinator: Nick Aliotti — more entrenched in the West than Helfrich.

WISCONSIN
Offensive coordinator: Paul Chryst — has been named as Pittsburgh’s new head coach.
Co-defensive coordinator: Chris Ash — an Iowa native, Ash’s coaching stops have included San Diego State and Iowa State.
Co-defensive coordinator: Charlie Partridge — prior to joining Bret Bielema‘s staff in 2008, he spent five years as an assistant at Pitt.

OKLAHOMA STATE
Offensive coordinator: Todd Monken — has coached at Notre Dame (grad assistant) and Eastern Michigan.  The Illinois native was a candidate for the Southern Miss and Tulane jobs earlier this year.
Defensive coordinator: Bill Young — he’s in his mid-60s; he’s likely not a viable candidate.
Associate head coach: Joe DeForest — Florida native who’s spent time on staffs at Duke and Rice in addition to OSU.

STANFORD
Offensive coordinator: Pep Hamilton — an NFL assistant from 2000-09, Hamilton has spent the past two seasons with the Cardinal.
Co-defensive coordinator:  Derek Mason — the Arizona native has spent his time in the western portion of the country since becoming an assistant in 1994.
Co-defensive coordinator: Jason Tarver —  has been strictly a West Coast assistant since becoming a coach in 1996

MICHIGAN
Offensive coordinator: Al Borges –56-year old who has, outside of a two-year stint at Indiana a decade ago, spent his coaching time around the West Coast prior to coming to Ann Arbor.
Defensive coordinator: Greg Mattison — despite his astonishing success in his first year with the Wolverines, see Bill Young above.

VIRGINIA TECH
Offensive coordinator: Bryan Stinespring — after a four-year stint at the high school level, the Virginia native has been a Hokies assistant since 1990.
Defensive coordinator: Bud Foster — an assistant at Tech since 1987, Foster tops the list of coaches when you call the “why the hell hasn’t he ever been a head coach?” roll.

CLEMSON
Offensive coordinator: Chad Morris — will be the highest-paid assistant coach in college football in 2012.  Has spent most of his coaching career at the high school level in Texas, but was a high-priority target of Urban Meyer as his first OC at Ohio State.
Defensive coordinator: Kevin Steele — head coach at Baylor from 1999-2002, and served on Nick Saban‘s Alabama staffs in 2007 and 2008.

WEST VIRGINIA
Offensive coordinator: head coach Dana Holgorsen serves as his own coordinator.
Defensive coordinator: Jeff Casteel — has been at WVU since 2001, and is one of the most underrated assistants in the country.  Graduated from a college in Pennsylvania.

ALABAMA
Offensive coordinator: Jim McElwain — has been named as Colorado State’s new head coach.
Defensive coordinator: Kirby Smart — has been a strictly Southern coach since finishing his playing career at Georgia in 1998.

LSU
Offensive coordinator: Greg Studrawa — for most of his 23-year coaching career, the Ohio native has been a head coach in the Midwest.  Like Clemson’s Morris, was rumored to be a candidate for the OC job at Ohio State under Urban Meyer.
Defensive coordinator: John Chavis — after playing his college ball at Tennessee, Chavis has spent his entire 33-year coaching career in SEC country.

My best guess as to the top assistant on a BcS bowl team that may have piqued PSU’s interest? “Foster, Pennsylvanian for Coach”.

Also, any coach with a connection to Saban — Steele, Smart — should be kept in mind; the Tide head coach is highly respected by a key member of the PSU search committee, and will go to great lengths to espouse the virtues of assistants who have worked under him in the past/present.

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10 Responses to “Report: pair of candidates to get second Penn State interviews”
  1. polegojim says: Dec 31, 2011 9:45 PM

    I am a Designated Speculator.

    Mangini should take this job.

    I curse JT for listing Borges and Mattison. May your bucknuts shrink and shrivel sir.

    Go BLUE!

  2. cfbfaninbadnfltown says: Dec 31, 2011 10:54 PM

    @ polegojim

    I would think at this point PSU would be done with old guys.

  3. polegojim says: Dec 31, 2011 11:16 PM

    Yes… but old is a relative statement depending on the age of the observer!!!

    50 or 60 taint so old anymore… to me. ; )

  4. halo81 says: Dec 31, 2011 11:17 PM

    Wow, Clements and Bradley?

    First of all, Bradley had to know something about what happened at Penn State. If they hire him they’re simply idiots and I happen to like Scrap.

    Tom Clements? Really? There’s a guy that hasn’t even been allowed in the room for previous college head coaching jobs.

    Frankly, it’s been outstanding to watch Penn State fumble over and over after allowing Sandusky to do what he did. I hope they screw this up and hire a complete loser.

    Starting to make Pitt look smart.

  5. 1historian says: Dec 31, 2011 11:36 PM

    50 years ago I was at Notre Dame and I had a friend there named Dave Clements from McKees Rocks, Pa. and even then he was bragging about his little brother Tommy and Tommy was only 8 or 9 at the time.

    December 31, 1973 the whole world saw that Dave had been right about his little brother.

    Hope he gets the job.

  6. tk1966 says: Jan 1, 2012 1:53 AM

    halo81 says:

    “I hope they screw this up and hire a complete loser.”

    Is that your way of throwing your hat into the ring and hoping you are a viable candidate, halo?

  7. florida727 says: Jan 1, 2012 9:05 AM

    As much as I hate to say it, and with all due respect, just about anyone that shows interest in that job is going to get a “second interview”. PSU, for the obvious reason, will have to settle for a second- or even third-tier head coach this time around. Once this scandal is far behind in the proverbial rear view mirror, then they’ll be able to go get a head coach they really want. Whoever gets the job this time around will likely get a very short-term contract, likely nothing beyond 3 years, 4 max. By then, PSU will hopefully see the dust settling, and then they might get the person they really want.

    The shame of it is that their fans suffer (I’m not one of them). I know the scandal is horrible, and in the scheme of things is far more important than sports, but our culture obviously values sports and that’s been stripped away from a lot of people who are only guilty of one thing… rooting for a team wearing blue and white that’s located in PA.

  8. stairwayto7 says: Jan 1, 2012 12:23 PM

    Bill O’Brien on the Pats will get job by Jan 5th!

  9. tobeexact says: Jan 1, 2012 12:48 PM

    Got to love the little brother team in pennsylvania that can only go .500 season after season in a sub par conference and will only get worse next year in the second worse AQ conference and get beat by duke and wake forest.
    Your nothing but a bunch of whining cry babies and always will be and thats why you cant win and or keep coaches that you consider great . And they have so much respect for your school that when they leave they have the AD text the players of their departure .
    If you think penn state isnt going to get a great coach then you obviously as dumb as the news media putting out the retorts of a different coach every other day.
    Stop crying about penn state and get your crying hankies ready for next year when the only wins you get will be against the non FBS schools you play in your non conference schedule.

  10. tobeexact says: Jan 1, 2012 1:08 PM

    And this one is for the sooner fans who blogged on the back shoe diaries about what I also consider one of the medias layers attempts of trying to figure out who the coach of penn state will be. Yes the stoop brothers are not coming to psu, you know it and so does everyone else,so why post on a blog how absurd it is when thats a giving .
    Which means you need to stop smelling cow crap and stop listening to the media which is so desperate for info that there willing to throw every name in football as the next head coach. And the fact sooner fans have a short memory span about being banned from playing in bowl games for actually cheating at football. Oh and lets not forget there embarrasing loss to fresno st in a prime time bowl game.
    Maybe you should go ride a few more bulls , because its obvious you still have a few miniscule marbles left in your brains hanging on for dear life , then we wont have to read your idiotic posts to every media report you read that everyone knows is so far fetched they dont even deserve a comment or a response.
    Hey I heard elvis is living in oklahoma , why dont you see if you can find him.

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