When Bill O’Brien said during his introductory news conference Saturday that he wanted to assemble his Penn State coaching staff as quickly as possible, that wasn’t merely lip service.
During his first meeting with the Nittany Lions players Sunday, O’Brien confirmed that linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden will remain with the team. It hasn’t been determined whether Vanderlinden will continue coaching the same position, although that does appear it will ultimately be the case.
Vanderlinden is the second holdover from Joe Paterno‘s staff to commit to transitioning to the new regime; during his press conference, O’Brien confirmed that defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. would be staying on as well.
Over the weekend, Tennessee Titans assistant Charles London confirmed that he has agreed to become the Nittany Lions’ running backs coach, leaving O’Brien with six coaching positions to fill.
The first-time head coach said Sunday that he’d like to have the staff 90 percent complete by Wednesday. One coach who could very well makeup part of the 90 percent is Ted Roof.
Roof was mentioned by name by O’Brien Saturday, with the new Nittany Lions coach calling the UCF defensive coordinator “one of my closest friends”. Roof was Duke’s head coach from 2003-2007, and O’Brien served as the Blue Devils’ offensive coordinator in 2005 and 2006. The Patriot-News writes that two different sources have mentioned Roof as a potential hire, presumably as coordinator.
After spending the past three seasons at Auburn, Roof moved to the same position with UCF in early December of last year.