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Penn State to make another run at Chris Petersen; Roman a finalist?

Chris Petersen AP

What the heck; third time’s a charm, right?

After two failed attempts to woo Chris Petersen away from Boise State, Penn State will reportedly make yet another run at the coach.  According to a tweet from CBSSportsCharlie Casserly, the Nittany Lions are going to take a shot at a coach who has spent the vast majority of his coaching career to the left of the Rockies and has shown no desire to leave the Broncos for jobs in locales east, west, north or south of Boise.

With the exception of a private denial that was reported publicly, Petersen has yet to comment on the speculation connecting him to the Nittany Lions’ vacancy.

As Penn State is the only Div. 1-A job currently open, speculation as to the permanent replacement for Joe Paterno has taken many shapes and forms over the past couple of weeks.  In addition to the ongoing Petersen rumors, Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak has been at the forefront of reports, with a very vehement and very public denial followed by a report of private second thoughts.  New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien was all but signed, sealed and delivered as the next PSU coach, until he wasn’t.  Former Cleveland Browns and New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini has also been mentioned as a possibility.

As has Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano and Virginia head coach Mike London.  And Miami head coach Al Golden as well.  Oh, and Navy’s Ken Niumatalolo too, who shot down the scurrilous rumors post haste.

Given all of the rumors masquerading as smoke and/our outright fabrications, it’s hard to get a gauge on what is actually transpiring in the school’s first search for a head coach in nearly five decades.  Interim head coach Tom Bradley, quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno and defensive assistant Larry Johnson Sr. have all been confirmed interviewees from within the current staff, as has Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.

Another confirmed interviewee?  San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman.  The former Stanford assistant’s agent told the Associated Press that his client interviewed for the job in November and is on the short list — i.e. a finalist — to land a job that, prior to the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal, would’ve been one of the premier openings in college football.

“We should know in a week or so, that’s our best guess,” agent Michael Harrison told the AP regarding a timeline. “He interviewed quite a while ago.”

With all of this uncertainty swirling, there really is an easy answer for Penn State’s coaching conundrum that can be summed up in two words: Tim Murphy.  An out-of-the-box candidate?  Absolutely.  But, and especially given the current situation the football program finds itself in, Murphy’s the safe yet swing-for-the-fences hire it needs to make.

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27 Responses to “Penn State to make another run at Chris Petersen; Roman a finalist?”
  1. acieu says: Jan 2, 2012 8:39 PM

    This is turning into a Brett Favre retirement decision type of soap opera.

  2. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 2, 2012 8:41 PM

    PSU needs to find some people with some morals, including students

  3. woebegong says: Jan 2, 2012 9:04 PM

    My belief is that they should stick with Tom Brady and get it together as soon as possible. Between tomorrow and national signing day, recruiting will be hot and heavy and Brady has done as good as anybody could trying to keep this team together. It doesn’t appear that he is the least bit involved with Sandusky, so since the players know him, let him give it a try. No amount of money I believe will get Peterson and just trying to fill it with people that have either failed at coaching jobs before or trying to lure somebody with an gross amount of money is not the answer.

  4. pastabelly says: Jan 2, 2012 9:05 PM

    Murphy would be a good choice. He needs to move up already. BC should make a run at him too.

  5. nickmiller63 says: Jan 2, 2012 9:06 PM

    You’ve clearly been paying close attention and all that.

  6. thetooloftools says: Jan 2, 2012 9:41 PM

    Anyone seriously considering that ongoing mess (the trials haven’t even started yet) at Penn State needs their heads examined.
    I hope they tell the “new guy” they are losing recruits hand over fist and current players are getting ready to transfer in droves.
    I’ll bet that doesn’t come up.

  7. fissels says: Jan 2, 2012 9:58 PM

    I think it’s a great opportunity for the right person. He will have plenty of support from the fans and alumni. Both want this program rebuilt into one that produces players who are outstanding people and students first.

  8. turillos says: Jan 2, 2012 10:23 PM

    Any chance that the SLIGHT chance PSU could get the death penalty is scaring coaches off? You’d think any established coach would want some kind of assurance that they’re actually going to be able to coach the Penn State football team next year before they leave their current jobs to take it. Could you imagine if Chris Peterson left Boise and then PSU was banned for a year or two? That would be terrible for him. I just wonder to what extent that possibility is playing into coaches minds.

  9. hollyreneee says: Jan 2, 2012 10:24 PM

    Hey Obnoxious Guy, you sure got the name right. The Students of Penn State had nothing to do with the molestation of children or the ensuing cover up by the President of Penn State and others. Try not to paint with such a wide brush stroke OB. If you are referring to the student riot, lets get real. A revered coach of 46 years is fired before all the facts are out. This same coach has supported the school on the field and financially over his storied career, you really think the young people on that campus would not get upset.? As far as riots go, we have seen alot worse in this country. My husband is a proud graduate of Penn State and the despicable acts of one man and then the coverup by a few more will not tarnish the accomplishments of so many Penn State grads

  10. thefiesty1 says: Jan 2, 2012 10:24 PM

    Get over it. No one wants that job. They are going to have to clean house completely first. Everyone associated with PSU, administration, president, board of trustees, acting AD, all coaches – absolutely everyone has to go and start over with the governor appointing a new board of trustees. Then the BoT can hire an AD and then a coach. Maybe after the trial if that happens before next season.

  11. seoulpatrol says: Jan 2, 2012 10:35 PM

    Who wants to be forever known as “The Guy That Came in After The Scandal”? I get the savior part but his name get’s linked to the mess…

  12. bleed4philly says: Jan 2, 2012 11:16 PM

    Tony Dungy?

  13. thatobnoxiousguy says: Jan 2, 2012 11:40 PM

    PSU hasnt been relevent in ages. Please, its an overrated, has been school. It’s a toxic school now and who in their right mind would want to go there and be lumped in with the likes of Sandusky, Paterno, or those “proud” students and “graduates” that actually had the audacity to support those sickos?

  14. Trapperpk says: Jan 3, 2012 12:22 AM

    Coach “Pete” has to convince his family and friends this is more important to go to PSU than continue anchor their lives to a life style in Boise. He already makes enough money, so greed isn’t the motivation. PSU sports is in disarray and Coach Pete considers Sports Administration as an important partner for a football program. If he experiences a slow recovering program due to program overhaul, that will oust a coach Pete at PSU under two years. He wouldn’t gut the Boise program of coaches to go with him to PSU. Can he risk his family a situation to possible failure. I would say no!

  15. 187onsandusky says: Jan 3, 2012 12:46 AM

    thetooloftools says:
    Jan 2, 2012 9:41 PM
    Anyone seriously considering that ongoing mess (the trials haven’t even started yet) at Penn State needs their heads examined.
    I hope they tell the “new guy” they are losing recruits hand over fist and current players are getting ready to transfer in droves.
    I’ll bet that doesn’t come up.
    ===============================

    I would love to see your data to back up your assertions.

    Yes, they have lost 3 verbal commits, but that can hardly be called hand over fist. And the leading tackler and Defensive leader, Gerald Hodges has already proclaimed he is coming back rather than enter the draft.

    Again, please supply me with whatever information you have to back up your claims.

  16. blancodiablo says: Jan 3, 2012 1:10 AM

    thatobnoxiousguy says:Jan 2, 2012 11:40 PM

    blah. blah. blah!

    ————————–

    So obnoxious guy, let me guess. Your boss is a graduate of PSU. Or is it your neighbor that your wife talks about all the time?

    The unfortunate situation at PSU has allowed a venue for all the gutter creatures to see the sun.

  17. paulieorkid says: Jan 3, 2012 1:10 AM

    The dark horse I hope lands the HC job at PSU is Tom Clements. No question about it.

    Amongst Clements’other credentials, he has been the QB Coach of Green Bay since about 2006 or 2007, the precise span of time that involved grooming of Aaron Rodgers into the epic beast we now see playing on Sundays.

    Rodgers will be the NFL MVP this year, and his QB Rating is an NFL record-shattering 122.5.

    Even Rodgers’ back-up, a guy few have heard of named Matt Flynn, threw for 6 TD passes and nearly 500 yards in his first NFL start, just yesterday. This has been matched only once in the last half-century.

    And though Penn State has long recruited effectively at several positions, we have not recruited a whole lot of blue chip/truly elite QBs.

    And I really believe Clements could really go a lonnng way toward improving us in recruiting (especially offensive skill players, most notably QB). Once the 5 star QBs sign letters of recruitment, the skill players at other positions line up behind them.

    Moreover, Clements would be ideal from the player development and the strategic/schematic perspectives, particuarly offensively — not to mention help us in several other ways.

    Clements is right in front of our face — let’s not blow it, particularly by BEGGING and GROVELING for someone with a lukewarm interest.

  18. vincentbojackson says: Jan 3, 2012 1:56 AM

    Who would want that job?

    Just a guy that likes making over $2 million per year coaching Big 10 football in front of over 100,000 loyal fans and a national TV audience each week.

    The new guy will also have the added benefit of knowing the scandal has nothing to do with him or his staff.

    The NCAA will leave the program alone and let the legal system hand out justice. Questionable moral decisions do not fall under the NCAA’s watch.

  19. Pac12Ute says: Jan 3, 2012 3:04 AM

    Recent Gallop poll results have found that no one living within the contiguous 48 states would accept the PSU job. With this disappointing news, PSU has accepted that this will be their new coach and team:

  20. thetooloftools says: Jan 3, 2012 3:04 AM

    “I think it’s a great opportunity for the right person. He will have plenty of support from the fans and alumni. Both want this program rebuilt into one that produces players who are outstanding people and students first.”
    They are NOT students first.
    When students screw up they go in front of STUDENT AFFAIRS.
    When an ATHLETE screws up, the COACH decides what the punishment is as per Joe Patero telling Graham Spanier that was the way it was going to be and it was so.
    Where were those 100,000 loyal fans in Dallas for the Cotton bowl?
    Your full of crap.

  21. florida727 says: Jan 3, 2012 8:35 AM

    I’m not a PSU fan. Heck, I’m not even a Big 10 fan. But it does irritate me to see people bashing the entire university because of the actions of a few.

    Do a little reality check here folks. ONE GUY is accused, and likely guilty of, the heinous acts against children. A handful (albeit a very prominently positioned handful) of others conspired to cover it up (allegedly). Why indict the entire university past and present?

    Here’s the reality: Penn State will only get a second- or third-tier guy as their next head coach, for the obvious reason. Once the trials and civil suits dust settles, then they’ll attract a top-tier head coach, but you literally might be looking at a decade from now. The interim guy has an incredibly difficult challenge ahead of himself. BTW, don’t kid yourself… more than just three recruits will de-commit before it’s all said-and-done. And the NCAA will impose sanctions… because the NCAA thinks they’re more important than they really are.

    It’s a mess that’s not even close to being finalized yet. I feel saddest for the kids affected, as everyone does, but I also feel for the fans of PSU. They don’t deserve this… no one does. All they want to do is root for a top-tier football team every Saturday afternoon. It’s a shame that a handful of individuals stole that from them.

  22. drexelvol says: Jan 3, 2012 11:03 AM

    @thetooloftools – “I hope they tell the “new guy” they are losing recruits hand over fist and current players are getting ready to transfer in droves.”

    So, this is information that you, an absolute no one in football circles, have first hand knowledge of, but someone interviewing for the PSU head coach position would have to be informed of?

    So you realize how stupid that sounds?

  23. drexelvol says: Jan 3, 2012 11:11 AM

    @vincentbojackson – “Just a guy that likes making over $2 million per year coaching Big 10 football in front of over 100,000 loyal fans and a national TV audience each week.
    ………..
    The NCAA will leave the program alone and let the legal system hand out justice. Questionable moral decisions do not fall under the NCAA’s watch.”

    PSU has a national audience a few times a year when they play their conference schedule. The rest of the time they’re playing teams like Kent State and Youngstown State.

    So, rape of a child in the football locker room showers is a “questionable moral decision?” Interesting take on that. Perhaps you should contact Sandusky’s crack legal team and maybe they could run with that and their “teaching the kids how to shower” spin on the case.

  24. wgward says: Jan 3, 2012 11:29 AM

    Ever wonder what “happens” when a man loses his reputation…when an institution like PSU loses it’s reputation….

    This is it. Just cannot stop the bleeding….

  25. tking63 says: Jan 3, 2012 5:20 PM

    I’m Chris Peterson why would I leave Boise? We will finish in the top 5 this year in the polls. We are moving to the Big East where we can lose and still get into the BCS (After loosing 2 games in 2 years). The Recruiting door will swing wide open because we are in a “Big Boy “conference. Why would I take over a team that was Blown out by Houston, in a conference with Urban Meyer taken over OSU, Mich on the rise, Wis, MSU and Neb. They also have a nasty scandal hanging around their necks??? Because its Penn State….I don’t think so.

  26. stooker says: Jan 3, 2012 6:19 PM

    Coach Pete will unlikely leave BSU for any amount of money until his children are out of school. After that?? Good luck PSU in finding a coach.

  27. dkhhuey says: Jan 3, 2012 6:54 PM

    I guess no really doesn’t means no at PSU!

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