Who will be Penn State’s next head football coach?
Coach Bill O’Brien’s announcement last week that he is leaving Penn State for a position with the Houston Texans may come as no surprise to hardcore Penn State football fans. After all, it has long been reported that O’Brien really has his eyes set on a position in the National Football League.
In a joint statement made by Penn State President Rodney Erickson and Athletic Director Dave Joyner on January 2, it was officially announced that the search for Penn State’s 16th head football coach is officially on. The pair also thanked O’Brien for his “tremendous leadership” and wished him well in his new position and future career. In an Alumni Association e-mail released today those sentiments were seconded.
The Alumni Association also thanked Coach O’Brien “for keeping Penn State’s winning tradition alive and well under unprecedented challenges.” Penn State football fans were somewhat comforted to learn that experienced Defensive Line Coach Larry Johnson has accepted the position of “interim head coach” while the search takes place.
Johnson was selected because of his impressive resume. He is currently in his 19th season as a Penn State staff member and more importantly his 15th as the defensive line coach. Additionally, Johnson is also credited with the success of the defensive and special teams and has reportedly been an “instrumental member of the Nittany Lions’ recruiting efforts” while on board. Penn State football fans seem generally confident in Johnson’s abilities but also anxiously await the signing of a new head football coach.
The new coach will be chosen by the Football Head Coach Search Committee. The committee includes Dave Joyner (chairman), Linda Caldwell (Distinguished Professor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management and of Human Development and Family Studies, and faculty athletics representative), Charmelle Green (associate athletic director and senior woman administrator), Tom Poole (vice president for administration) Wally Richardson (director of the Penn State Football Letterman’s Club) and Bob Warming (head coach for men’s soccer).
(Image courtesy of Philly and OnwardState)