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PSU: Next football coach to be in place within days

By: WJAC Web Staff

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The search for the next head football coach is continuing at Penn State University and officials say a new coach should be in place within days.

Penn State Athletic Director Dave Joyner said in a statement Tuesday that the person to replace former head coach Bill O'Brien is "progressing very well."

"We are on schedule and I anticipate having the new head coach in place in a matter of days," Joyner said. "The search is robust as we anticipated it would be and we have an excellent pool of candidates. I have heard from many coaches, or their representatives, who have expressed their interest in the position."

Joyner formally announced O'Brien's departure to become the head coach of the NFL's Houston Texans on Thursday. At that time, he named defensive line coach Larry Johnson as the teams interim head coach.

Joyner also said at that time the new coach search would indeed take days, not weeks.

Johnson said at a press conference on Friday that he did plan to apply for the top position. Johnson has been with the program since 1996 and is the only coach remaining from the Joe Paterno era.

Since O'Brien announced his departure, eight other Penn State staffers submitted their resignations from the squad.

Defensive coordinator John Butler, wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, running backs coach Charles London, safeties coach Anthony Midget, head coach special assistant and director of player development Jim Bernhardt, strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald and staffers Dwight Galt IV and Sean Hayes have all resigned.

Butler, Hixon, London, Midget, Bernhardt and Fitzgerald will all be joining O'Brien's staff in Houston.

A six-member committee, including Joyner, was named to help select the next coach.

On Sunday, University of Miami head football coach Al Gden released a statement saying that he was not leaving the Hurricanes program to become the head coach at Penn State. He was widely reported to have been a top contender for the position.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times