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Report: Schiano, Munchak would be interested if Bill O’Brien bolts Penn State for NFL

Greg Schiano AP

If, as the mounting speculation goes, Penn State loses its head coach to the NFL, the school could turn to the same level for a replacement.

It was reported earlier this month that Bill O’Brien — and/or his agent — had already been approached by the Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings about a potential return to the NFL.  As was the case last year, O’Brien’s name will likely be connected to other professional openings as well, in large part because an NFL buyout in his amended contract went from $19. 3 million last year just under $6.5 million this year.

David Jones of the Patriot-News wrote Monday that, if O’Brien were to leave the Nittany Lions after two seasons, current Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is one of “three other head coaches [who] have had their intermediaries inquire about the Penn State job.”  Schiano is rumored to be on an extremely hot seat with the Bucs, and could “part ways” with the organization at season’s end.

Prior to his time in Tampa, Schiano spent 11 years as the head coach at Rutgers.

Schiano spent six seasons (1990-95) as an assistant at Penn State.  After Joe Paterno‘s dismissal in November of 2011, he was mentioned as a potential successor.

The reported interest on Schiano’s part may not be reciprocated if — and, yes, it’s still an if — the job comes open, however, as Jones writes that “Schiano is not thought to be high on the would-be PSU contingency list.”

The two others mentioned by Jones as being “curious about the chances [the Penn State job] might come open” are Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak and Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin.

The former played his college football with the Nittany Lions, although that was back in the late-seventies/early eighties and the whole of his 20-year coaching career has been spent at the NFL level.  Like Schiano, Munchak was mentioned as a potential successor to Paterno.  Unlike Schiano, the job was Munchak’s to have before he opted to remain with the Titans.  Also unlike Schiano, Jones notes that PSU “money men… would again lean toward the dignified and straight-shooting Munchak as the favorite.”  Again, that’s provided there’s even a job to fill.

Franklin is a favorite of the coaching rumor mill, having already been one of the reported front-runners for the USC job as well as being a potential candidate at Texas.  Based on the job he’s done with the Commodores, you can expect his name to be mentioned just about anytime a high-profile position comes open.

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27 Responses to “Report: Schiano, Munchak would be interested if Bill O’Brien bolts Penn State for NFL”
  1. meatcarroll says: Dec 24, 2013 8:31 AM

    REMINDER: The NCAA hammered USC with grossly unjust sanctions after a witch hunt investigation spanning years only found a single player, Reggie Bush, of receiving benefits 130 miles south of campus from someone unaffiliated with the school.

    Penn State, however, willingly harbored and shielded a pedophile sexual predator with the full knowledge of the coaching staff and school administrators for YEARS and got away with a slap on the wrist that gets reduced even further all the time.

  2. whitdog23 says: Dec 24, 2013 8:39 AM

    sounds fair to me

  3. canetic says: Dec 24, 2013 8:48 AM

    Why would an NFL head coach leave their job to coach a (less than mediocre) college team? And what’s with all the NFL teams that are desperate to have Bill O’Brien? Am I in bizarro world?

  4. eidolon21 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:34 AM

    David Jones is nothing but an OSU grad who wants Penn State to fail. This is his attempt to negatively impact PSU recruiting.
    The repeated reporting of his made up info is shameful. Wake up JT show some integrity.

  5. 12strikes says: Dec 24, 2013 9:44 AM


    Yet another person that believes in punishment over justice. You do realize that the person that did it is in jail, the person that people said hid it is dead, and the administration that was in charge is gone, and possibly looking at jail time.

    So who is the NCAA punishing right now.
    A coaching staff that had nothing to do with it.
    A team and student body where all of them were in grade school.

    Who are you punishing? the people being punished had NOTHING to do with what happen.

  6. coachjimbo says: Dec 24, 2013 9:53 AM

    Hey meathead (carroll) first off they were cheating to get a player at USC second of all if you know anything about the Penn State incident in 98, the child welfare services the attourney general the local police the the local high schools all admitted it no evidence to put Sandusky away…The PSU BOARD knew something. so why is Joe Paterno’s fault when all these other professional services couldn’t find Sandusky guiltyback in 1998?and if it is true that Sandusky is a pedofile how did that help Joe Paterno win games and recruit good players?to me usually kids who have no money like the inner city kids play into that financial gain at most universities. So there’s a huge difference paint kids to play we’re having some ex employee of Penn State rating: kids.and as far as I remember Joe was it coach not a lawyer not a police officer not a professional child welfare services etc… he was a football coach. I think paying kids to play is a little different been having some pedophile running around the universities raping kids.

  7. kastout11 says: Dec 24, 2013 10:16 AM

    I am a big O’Brien fan, but I could live with Munchak or Schiano as a replacement. I think it is a foregone conclusion that O’Brien is going to the NFL. I also think it is about time that people stop blaming Paterno for the whole Sandusky case. Joe is the greatest coach in the history of college football. I agree with the above post from coachjimbo, Joe was not a lawyer, police officer or child welfare services worker, he was a football coach and told his superiors, then did what he was paid to do, coach his football team.

  8. addict2sport says: Dec 24, 2013 10:22 AM

    coachjimbo, an agent was trying to get a player USC already had.

  9. tigersfandan says: Dec 24, 2013 10:25 AM

    canetic says: Dec 24, 2013 8:48 AM

    Why would an NFL head coach leave their job to coach a (less than mediocre) college team? And what’s with all the NFL teams that are desperate to have Bill O’Brien? Am I in bizarro world?

    Penn State is not less than mediocre. They are 15-9 the past two seasons despite crippling NCAA sanctions. Bill O’Brien has a relatively small amount of experience in the NFL, but it did come recently. Whether or not it makes a ton of sense, O’Brien will likely make a move to the NFL soon.

  10. dhlions says: Dec 24, 2013 10:40 AM

    Speculation bubble.

  11. eightysixisback says: Dec 24, 2013 11:11 AM

    Penn State didn’t harbor a pedophile any more than you have harbored the pedophiles in your town. The actions of three maybe four people do not give your the right to lump all of us who make up Penn State University together as people who harbored a pedophile. You are aware that there are POS like Sandusky in every single town in this country right? By your rationale you have harbored pedophiles as well. Where are you from? I can guarantee you that there are pedophiles there. I was a victim of one as a child and worked in a field for several years where I helped vicitims report them, i can guarantee you they are everywhere including the town you live in. The truth is that none of us have the facts because the media jumped on this story and were more concerned about being the first to report rather than the first to report accurately. They twisted things and to this day there are things about this story that continue to be reported as fact that were either embellished by the media or flat out made up. I know that i should ignore people who make comments like yours but as both a psu graduate and victim of sexual abuse i can not help but be extremely offended when people say Penn State is responsible for those children being abused.

  12. youcantmakemepickausername says: Dec 24, 2013 11:12 AM

    Why would an NFL head coach leave their job to coach a (less than mediocre) college team? And what’s with all the NFL teams that are desperate to have Bill O’Brien? Am I in bizarro world?

    Your first question would make sense if the two coaches mentioned were, say, Bill Bellichek and John Harbaugh, but it’s not, it’s Mike Munchak and Greg Schiano, two guy that don’t have a ton of job security right now and the choice to “leave” might not be all theirs.

    And as to your second question, even as a Penn State fan that really likes O’Brien, I also happen to think he may be a bit overrated as far a hot NFL candidate. I guess my best explanation would be that if an NFL team is looking for a new HC, it’s almost always because they weren’t very good or were flat-out awful. and if they weren’t very good or were awful, a big reason is usually because they weren’t very good at the QB position, and O’Brien, whether it’s totally deserved or not, has gained a reputation for developing QBs.

    Granted, the only QB he’s coached at the NFL level was Brady, so it’s not like he deserves any credit there because the guy was great long before O’Brien coached him.

  13. ntitus36 says: Dec 24, 2013 11:28 AM

    Did you guys see what obrien did with 1 year with mcgloin. He made a kid with below average talent into a stud. What do you think he can do with a person that is talented like hack or somebody in the nfl that’s why he’s wanted in the NFL. He’s a QB genius

  14. lbijake says: Dec 24, 2013 11:44 AM

    @ntitus, a “genius” may be a leap based on one year with one player. I admit McG’s play improved but do not know if all the improvement is to be accredited to O’B. At this point, I would label him an improvenator. Don’t like Schiano as he hardly made Rutgers a power, just improved a bad team. Munchak really hasn’t done anything with the Titans. Of the thee, I would go with Franklin. However, I am sure there are afew unnamed gems available, as long as they are not named Kiffin.

  15. noleitup says: Dec 24, 2013 11:51 AM

    I hope schiano gets thats job so he can stop ruining my bucs

  16. titansbro says: Dec 24, 2013 12:16 PM

    I’d feel bad for Munch if the Titans fire him, although I think it’s necessary & it seems they will. But this wouldn’t be a bad landing spot so I hope he does go there.

  17. tk1966 says: Dec 24, 2013 2:42 PM

    Regarding Paterno’s “involvement” in an alleged cover-up… Paterno did what he was supposed to do, he reported it to his superiors. As a mandated reporter myself, I can tell you that the responsibility is to report a suspected or reported incident, and then back off so as to not hinder or jeopardize any investigation. Paterno reported to his superior, who was the person who oversaw the entire campus police department. That sure sounds to me like he did his job. What else was he supposed to do? Overstep his bounds and violate his duty by investigating and pursuing on his own? If he did that, and again I tell this from being in the know as a mandated reporter, he could have been found criminally negligent of obstruction of justice.

    Two more points – one, people make the claim that the campus police are not “real police”. Tell that to the family of the MIT Campus Police officer that was killed in a shootout with the Boston Marathon Bomber.

    Final point – to those who make the claim that Paterno was the alleged highest authority on campus; if that was the case, then who fired him?

  18. jimmy53 says: Dec 24, 2013 3:50 PM


    Ummm, sorry to disappoint you, but 15-9 over 2 seasons is the definition of “less than mediocre.” Especially in that conference.

    That being said, PLEASE HIRE SCHIANO! He can bring the Lions the same winning ways he’s brought to the Bucs.

  19. floridacock says: Dec 24, 2013 3:58 PM


  20. dkhhuey says: Dec 24, 2013 5:55 PM

    To all of the PSU homers on here – please, stop it! Joe Paterno and his bosses knew about Sandusky anally raping kids and they did nothing about it and enabled him to rape and molest children for the next 10 plus years…. nobody gives a shit about you’re theories and Freech report analysis – it is over, deal with it!

    As for Bill O’Brien – class act and what PSU needed but sadly, I think he is gone to the NFL Personally I would love him to stay because he is great for the B1G!!!

  21. dirtyharry1971 says: Dec 24, 2013 8:05 PM

    Penn state is trash, intelligent people realize that. The only morons who stick up for this program are the morons who go there or have gone there. They need to close this place down ASAP and can the gov cause he is no good also! taxs payers don’t want to pay for this mess anymore, it was never a good school! We Are…White trash!!

  22. pdcooper08 says: Dec 24, 2013 9:37 PM

    Wow Harry, on Christmas eve all that hate, not sure where that’s coming from. Where you a victim at one time?

    I know it has already been menitioned, but for the record regarding good ole Reggie Bush. He was already at USC and playing when the sports agent came along and purchased the home for his family. This was not done underneath anyone’s noses. Reggie will forever be a Douche Bag in my mind.

  23. theuglitruth says: Dec 25, 2013 12:25 AM

    meatcarroll = meat head

  24. normtide says: Dec 25, 2013 2:07 AM

    Coaches changing jobs isn’t so crazy. The media stories about every little rumor gets a bit tedious. Just because a man is offered a job, doesn’t mean he will take it, out actually get the final offer.

  25. 10kmp says: Dec 25, 2013 7:38 PM

    @eidolon21 says… “David Jones is nothing but an OSU grad who wants Penn State to fail. This is his attempt to negatively impact PSU recruiting.”

    That you think a writer for something called ‘The Patriot News’ is helping Meyer and the Buckeyes by planting seeds that Bill O’Brien is interested in returning to the NFL is just silly. The guy is writing that O’Brien is interested in his NFL options because O’Brien IS interested in his NFL options. It’s just that simple. Some guys love the recruiting and some guys don’t. My impression of O’Brien is the latter. He wants to coach football. That’s it. All the other “stuff” that college coaches have to deal with (recruiting, alumni, parents, academics, etc) gets in the way of his ‘coaching football’. College football and all that goes with it is right in Urban Meyer’s wheelhouse. O’Brien seems more at home in professional football. The PSU job was a pitstop. A proving ground for O’Brien.

    I hate to see O’Brien leave the B1G. He’s a very good coach, and a terrific recruiter to boot. He is the kind of guy this conference needs in order to regain national respect/prominence… but imo Bill O’Brien isn’t long for the college game.

  26. sportingbeat says: Dec 26, 2013 9:22 AM

    After I looked at this comment section, I’ve concluded that it’s no longer possible for anyone to have an intelligent, rational conversation about anything Penn State-related anywhere on the Internet. It’s been two years, and people are still rehashing the same old talking points.

  27. dhardy8207 says: Dec 28, 2013 11:05 AM

    I dont’ have a dog in this fight, but here is my take on the whole PSU thing..

    Joe Paterno did report an incident that was reported to him some 24-36 hours after the fact. Now I’m no legal scholar but I can’t for the life of me understand how a coaching ICON who except for this incident that he didn’t witness personally has been ripped apart and persecuted within the realms of personal opinions and speculations. Where is the rage for the grad student/assistant coach who did supposedly witness the shower incident and therefore the rape of a ten year old child not take action? Why did he not immediatedly call the police on the spot? Why did he, as a GROWN ASS 26 YEAR OLD MAN go home and talk with his father about it FIRST before reporting it hours later to Joe Pa? Personally as a female, if I witnessed the rape of a child, I would have for certain intervened even if it meant I had to fight physically for that child.

    Now anyone who follows college football should remember that JoePa had an impeccable record of running a clean program and was never reported as anything but a man of great integrity until this incident. Most reports I ve read state that after the Sandusky incident in 1998, his access to the PSU athletic facilities were limited and some can argue that he should have not been allowed back on campus. That would have probably been the correct thing to do but despite there was no charges filed. I do question how so much information came out after a decade of being accused of molestation that that was not available to sustantiate the charges in 1998.

    The main focus now that Sandusky is in jail should be healing the community. I personally would have preferred having the university put resources back into the commitment of helping that healing process instead of fattening up the NCAA’s pockets. How does all fines going to the NCAA help this situation? How does the NCAA profitting millions off of this incident help either the community or the university move forward?

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