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Reports: QB, LB coaches out at Penn State

Charlie Fisher

A holdover from the Joe Paterno era along with a respected offensive assistant are no longer a part of Bill O’Brien‘s coaching staff at Penn State, multiple media outlets reported.

According to and, linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher (pictured) have been let go and will not return to the Nittany Lions in 2014.  The former site reported that the two assistants were informed at some point prior to Sunday afternoon that they would not be returning next season.

What exactly was behind the “parting of ways” is unclear.  The school has yet to announce any personnel changes on O’Brien’s staff, although that could come as early as today.

Vanderlinden had been an assistant at Penn State since 2001 and, along with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, was one of two holdovers from the previous regime.

Fisher just completed his second season in Happy Valley, joining O’Brien as one of the first assistants on his Nittany Lions’ staff.  While O’Brien (rightly) gets a majority of the credit, Fisher played a significant role in both turning Matt McGloin into a viable NFL prospect and aiding in the development of five-star recruit Christian Hackenberg, one of the top true-freshman quarterbacks in the country.

(Photo credit: Penn State athletics)

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11 Responses to “Reports: QB, LB coaches out at Penn State”
  1. mauldawg says: Dec 3, 2013 9:34 AM

    Best move for the two coaches. Separate your self from this scum school. Any school that would cover up the rape of young men is not worth supporting in any way.

  2. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2013 9:40 AM

    Fisher did not deserve to be fired. Hackenberg had a fine season for a kid just coming out of high school. O’brien wants to take all the credit and that was a faux pas on his part.

  3. dhlions says: Dec 3, 2013 9:54 AM


    Unless you know for a fact that Fisher was coaching Hackenberg all season on his own I highly doubt that is true. O’Brien seems like a pretty stand-up guy.

    I’m guessing O’Brien wants to shed his OC responsibilities but doesn’t have the budget right now to bring in another staff member. Shift QB coaching to O’B, develop Hack on his own, bring in FT OC.

    My guess is that Vandy doesn’t like working for Butler or even offense-minded O’Brien.

  4. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2013 9:59 AM


    I re-read the sentence that said among other things that Fisher was the QB Coach……it just seems odd to me that a young kid out of HS playing QB at one of the finest schools in the country (academically and athletically IMO) has a very good first season and the QB coach is relieved. That didn’t make sense to me that’s all……

  5. dhlions says: Dec 3, 2013 10:04 AM


    And it is odd but I don’t think O’B keeping the credit for himself is a realistic cause. Possible that O’B was clearly doing more for Hack than Fisher so O’B let Fisher save face and put this decision off until the season was over.

  6. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2013 10:33 AM

    OK, that works for me as well. Unlike many of the posters, I for one think PSU is got a “raw deal” by punishing everyone ELSE (new admin, coaching staff, past & present players, alumni and fans) for something other people alleged to have done. This is not to downplay the trauma the victims have experienced, it just seems the NCAA and non-PSU supporters are punishing the WRONG PEOPLE! The true culprits will have their day in court. And of course Sandusky is already doing a life sentence. And for the record, I’m a South Carolina and Rutgers’ fan. Never was a fan of Coach Paterno but I have always had and will continue to have great respect for him.

  7. tommy57 says: Dec 3, 2013 10:45 AM

    I think dhlions has it about right. This is just a reshuffle and nobody is being fired for cause. They’re looking at the incoming recruiting classes and the next 3 years. Depth at some skill positions will be a problem, but they’re working on it. 8-4 last year, 7-5 this year with a fairly good incoming class IN 2014 (although not nearly as good as OSU). I think they’re managing it all very well, particularly given the dire predictions of some on this site only 1 year ago.

  8. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 3, 2013 11:38 AM

    I think Orgeron is looking for a staff…

  9. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2013 11:54 AM

    A running back with the last name “Williams” is probably going to sign with Penn St. He is the brother of Andre Williams, the Boston College running back who is leading the nation in rushing. Apparently, the younger Williams brother broke all his older brothers records at a high school in Pennsylvania. I know this Family well and if Penn St is fortunate to sign him, I predict him to be a great scholar/athlete.

  10. jebus1 says: Dec 3, 2013 5:40 PM

    In response to mauldawg incredibly stupid statement…. When are you going to realize that PSU is not defined by a few sick or greedy individuals. The alumni and students care deeply about those who were victims of that animal’s abuse and do a great deal of good for the community both in State College and beyond. Narrow minded and uninformed people like you need to keep your mouths shut.

  11. thegamecocker says: Dec 3, 2013 8:27 PM

    To Penn State Students:
    Please continue doing the fine work you do with THON. Anyone who has anything to say negative about the rank and file Penn State student need only open their eyes during the Fall. These young men and women are on the corners of busy intersections seeking donations to help ALL OF US! And that is just part of THON as there are other events as well to generate awareness and money to conduct research. The perception I have when Penn State University is mentioned is respect and thanks for the civic minded people that institution produces. I would recommend any person to consider Penn State because that school develops the entire person. The Gamecocker

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