Report: pair of candidates to get second Penn State interviews


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:

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

D-II head coach to reportedly take RBs coach job at Syracuse

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It appears Dino Babers is on the verge of, once again, completing his Syracuse coaching staff. is reporting that reporting that Justin Lustig (pictured, left) is leaving his job as the head coach at Div. II Edinboro (Pa.) College to take over as running backs coach at Syracuse.  Additionally, Lustig will serve as special teams coordinator for the Orange.

This will mark Lustig’s first job at a Power Five program.

Lustig replaces Mike Hart, who left earlier this month to take the running backs coach job at Indiana.  Tom Kaufman, who oversaw Syracuse’s special teams as well as coached linebackers, took the defensive coordinator job at an FCS program two weeks ago.

Hired in January of last year, Lustig took over an Edinboro team that finished 0-11 in 2015 and turned them into a 9-2 squad one year later.  For that turnaround, he was named the Div. II Coach of the Year.

Lustig’s last job at the FBS level came at Ball State, where he served as running backs coach/special teams coordinator from 2011-15.  He also earned the title of assistant head coach prior to the start of the 2015 season.

Former Baylor TE Tre’Von Armstead arrested in connection to 2013 sexual assault

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The cloud habitually hovering over the Baylor football program continues to get darker.  And more ominous.

According to the Waco Tribune-Herald, “[f]ormer Baylor football player Tre'Von Armstead was arrested Wednesday… on three second-degree felony sexual assault charges stemming from an alleged 2013 sexual assault while he was a member of the Baylor football team.” While the alleged rape occurred in mid-April of 2013, the case was suspended by the Waco Police Department, writes, “after the alleged victim chose not to pursue charges against Armstead and former Bears running back Myke Chatman, who she accused of sexually assaulting her at her apartment.”

The victim in that alleged assault, a former “Baylor Bruin” recruiting hostess for the football program, filed a lawsuit in late January of this year in which it’s alleged that 31 Baylor football players committed 52 acts of rape over a four-year period starting in 2011.  It was further alleged in the lawsuit that BU assistant football coaches, including current Florida Atlantic assistant Kendal Briles, contributed to what was described as a “culture of sexual violence” around the football program.

“Do you like white women? Because we have a lot of them at Baylor and they love football players,” Briles, the son of disgraced former BU head coach Art Briles, told one recruit according to that lawsuit, one of many the university is currently facing as a result of the sexual-assault scandal.

Despite the 2013 allegations of Armstead being involved in a sexual assault, he remained with the football program until his dismissal in September of 2015.  A little over a week ago, Armstead was arrested on multiple charges in Las Vegas after he allegedly physically assaulted a woman.

Louisville clarifies titles for revamped defensive coaching staff

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The offseason shuffling of Bobby Petrino‘s defensive coaching staff appears to be complete.

Thanks to Todd Grantham‘s move to Mississippi State earlier this offseason, Petrino was forced to overhaul his staff on that side of the ball.  Peter Sirmon, who Grantham replaced at MSU, was hired by the U of L as defensive coordinator in mid-January.

As the Cardinals kicked off spring practice this week, the football program detailed the responsibilities for the defensive side of the staff.

New defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon announced on Wednesday that he has finalized position changes on his defensive staff. Sirmon will mentor the defense, but will also coach the outside linebackers. Lorenzo Ward will coach the secondary, while Cort Dennison will now mentor the inside linebackers. L.D. Scott will stick with coaching the defensive line.

Last season under Grantham, the Cardinals were 31st nationally and sixth in the ACC in scoring defense (23.8 points per game).  They were 14th and third, respectively, in total defense (319.6 yards per game).

Auburn wide receiver Kyle Davis potentially out for spring

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Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn was optimistic about wide receiver Kyle Davis returning to the team at some point this spring, but the tune has changed regarding his future. Malzahn is now saying Davis may be out for the remainder of Auburn’s spring practices due to personal reasons.

“Kyle Davis is still taking care of some personal business,” Malzahn said, according to SEC Country. “I’m not for sure if he’s going to be back before the end of the spring. He will be back for the fall, just taking a little bit longer than we initially thought.”

It was just a few weeks ago Malzahn said Davis was going to be out for the start of spring practices, which are now close to half over. For now, the plan is simply to have him return over the summer in preparation for the fall.

In the meantime, Malzahn confirmed John Franklin III is working primarily as a wide receiver, which had previously been suspected to be the case.