Bill O’Brien to fill lone hole in Penn State staff


When Ted Roof decided to leave Penn State for Georgia Tech last month, Bill O’Brien not only lost his defensive coordinator but a position coach as well as John Butler was promoted from within to replace Roof.

While O’Brien has yet to confirm it, that coaching hole has been filled as multiple media outlets report that Anthony Midget will take over as defensive backs coach.  Midget comes to Penn State from Marshall, whose head coach confirmed that Midget was leaving for the Big Ten school.

We hire good coaches,” Doc Holliday told the Charleston Daily Mail Wednesday of Midget’s departure. “It’s a compliment to us. We hire great people and we’ll hire another great coach.”

Midget was hired by Holliday just 10 days ago as a defensive assistant.

Midget, an All-American defensive back at Virginia Tech in the late-nineties, had been at Georgia State since 2008.  He first served as secondary coach and special teams coordinator before being promoted to defensive coordinator for the 2012 season.

(Photo credit: Georgia State athletics)

Dennis Erickson interviews with Utah


The last time Dennis Erickson was on a college football sideline, it was as Arizona State’s coach in a Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State. But he could be back in the coaching ranks in the not-too-distant future.

Erickson confirmed to the Salt Lake Tribune that he recently interviewed for an assistant coaching job at Utah under Kyle Whittingham.

I enjoyed it,” Erickson told the paper. “They have good people there and a good staff; obviously Kyle has a good staff there so we will see.”

The former head coach said no offer was made, and exactly what role he would fill isn’t clear yet. Former Utes quarterback Brian Johnson was promoted to the team’s offensive coordinator last year after Norm Chow left to become the head coach of Hawaii, but Whittingham could shuffle coaches around to make room for Erickson.

For what it’s worth, the Utes had the 75th-best scoring offense, 93rd best rushing offense and 100th-best passing offense during last year’s 5-7 season. Erickson is considered one of the best coaches of the spread offense.

Erickson has college coaching experience at places like Idaho, Washington State, Oregon State and Miami. He also held two brief NFL jobs with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. He’s been out of coaching for a year, but interested in getting back into the game.

Rutgers loses defensive coordinator to the NFL


While an SEC school awaits word on whether it will lose its defensive coordinator to the NFL, a school from the Big East has officially learned they have indeed lost theirs to the pro ranks.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Thursday the hiring of five new assistant coaches, including Robb Smith as linebackers coach.  Smith had spent the past four seasons at Rutgers, including last year as defensive coordinator.

Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano, of course, left Rutgers last year for the NFL.

Second-year Scarlet Knights head coach Kyle Flood is now on the hunt for two coordinators.  Last month, offensive coordinator Dave Brock was named as the head coach at Delaware.

As for potential replacements, the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Flood “is zeroing in on former Kansas State head coach Ron Prince as his new offensive coordinator.”  Dave Cohen, already on staff as linebackers coach, could be in line for a promotion to defensive coordinator, the paper added.

(Photo credit: Rutgers athletics)

Gators CB busted for pot possession


I know, I know. A player busted for weed in the offseason. What’s new, right?

Per 247Sports, Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy is the latest athlete to get caught with the stuff. He was was arrested and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession on Sunday. According to the Gainesville Police Department, Purifoy was a passenger in a vehicle stopped for a right-of-way violation. Once pulled over, one passenger attempted to throw a cigarette out the window and the officer identified “a baggie containing 2.5 grams of cannabis” near the car’s emergency brake.

Florida is aware of the situation and handling it internally, per a statement from the school. A court date for Purifoy is scheduled for later this month.

Purifoy finished the 2012 season 51 tackles and three forced fumbles. He also blocked two kicks on special teams. Gators coach Will Muschamp said yesterday during Signing Day that Purifoy will see more time at receiver this spring to help with depth problems.

Tide assistant reportedly offered NFL job


The annual attempts at poaching college coaching staffs continues unabated this afternoon, with a first-time NFL head coach reportedly eyeing a member of the two-time defending BCS champions.

Speculation has been mounting over the past 24 hours that Chip Kelly is targeting Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland for a spot on his Philadelphia Eagles staff.  According to, the interest is indeed serious as the Eagles have offered Stoutland a job, presumably the line job, as part of Kelly’s staffing effort.

Even more to the point, the website reports that Stoutland is expected to take the job.  The Tide has declined to discuss the future of Stoutland with the program.

Stoutland has been at Alabama for the past two years, coming to the Tide from Miami.  In February of last year, Stoutland reportedly turned down an opportunity to join former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers staff.

If he were to accept Kelly’s offer, Stoutland would be the second assistant Nick Saban has lost since the end of the regular season.  In late December, it was announced that Jeremy Pruitt was leaving as the Tide’s defensive backs coach to become Florida State’s defensive coordinator.