Coaching Candidate Big Board

Who will be named the new head football coach at Penn State? We review the candidates on our Coaching Candidate Big Board, which will be updated as info comes in.

Blue = In the mix. Red = All but out of the mix. Strikethrough = Out of the mix.

Tom Bradley

Age: 54

Currently: Interim head coach at Penn State.

HC Experience: PSU interim coach periodically over past few seasons.

Ties: 1978 PSU graduate, 31 years on Penn State football coaching staff.

Latest: Bradley interviewed for the PSU position in mid-December. Several lettermen including Lavar Arrington and Brandon Short are petitioning on behalf of Bradley. Bradley interviewed once for the job but as of Jan. 1 denied reports that he had been offered a second interview.

Jim Caldwell

Age: 56

Currently: Head coach for Indianapolis Colts.

HC Experience: Colts (2009-present). Wake Forest (1993-2000).

Ties: Assistant coach at Penn State from 1986-92, working with quarterbacks (including Kerry Collins).

Latest: As of this writing, Caldwell was on the proverbial hot seat with the Colts, who finished with the worst record in the NFL and have already undergone a serious shakeup in management.

Tom Clements

Age: 58

Currently: Quarterbacks coach for Green Bay Packers.

HC Experience: None

Ties: Born in McKees Rock, Pa. Coached quarterbacks for the Steelers from 2001 to 2004.

Latest: Clements reached out to Penn State indicating he would like to apply for the head coaching position. The interest was mutual. He is said to have interviewed.

Bill Cowher

Age: 54

Currently: CBS NFL Today studio analyst.

HC Experience: Yes. Spent 15 seasons with Pittsburgh Steelers.

Ties: Born outside Pittsburgh, coached Steelers from 1992 to 2006. Played for the Philadelphia Eagles for three seasons.

Latest: Cowher has indicated he has no foreseeable plans to get back into coaching.

Tony Dungy

Age: 56

Currently: NBC's Football Night in America studio analyst.

HC Experience: Six seasons with Tampa Bay Buccaneers; seven seasons with Indianapolis Colts

Ties: Played for Pittsburgh Steelers 1977 to 1978. Coached with Steelers 1981 to 1988.

Latest: Indications are that Dungy is content with his current position and has no immediate plans to get back into coaching.

Larry Fedora

Age: 49

Currently: Head coach at Southern Mississippi. Now the head coach at North Carolina.

HC Experience: Four seasons with Southern Mississippi.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: Agreed to become coach North Carolina. No credible reports of substantial contact with PSU.

Pat Fitzgerald

Age: 37

Currently: Head coach at Northwestern.

HC Experience: Six seasons with Northwestern.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: PSU reportedly reached out to Fitzgerald's representatives to gauge his interest in having a conversation. Preliminary indications were that Fitzgerald was content with his situation.

James Franklin

Age: 39

Currently: Head coach at Vanderbilt.

HC Experience: Three seasons with Vanderbilt

Ties: Born Langhorne, Pa.; attended East Stroudsburg (Pa.); coached at Kutztown and East Stroudsburg Universities.

Latest: Franklin held a press conference on Dec. 2 announcing he received a contract extension. No credible indications that Penn State was in serious pursuit.

Al Golden

Age: 42

Currently: Head coach at Miami.

HC Experience: Five seasons at Temple, one season at Miami.

Ties: Graduated from Penn State in 1991, played tight end; coached for PSU for one season in 2000.

Latest: Initially Golden's representatives reportedly reached out to PSU upon being offered a four-year extension by Miami. After the conversation he accepted the Hurricanes' deal. However, there are now indications of interest activity between Golden and PSU.

Jim Grobe

Age: 59

Currently: Head coach at Wake Forest.

HC Experience: Was head coach at Ohio (1995-200) before taking over at Wake.

Ties: None apparent.

Jon Gruden

Age: 48

Currently: Analyst for ESPN Monday Night Football.

HC Experience: Four years with Oakland Raiders, seven years with Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Ties: Coached in Philadelphia for three seasons, coached in Pittsburgh for one season.

Latest: There are reports that the Monday Night Football analyst is itching to get back into coaching. But will it be at the college or pro level?

K.C. Keeler

Age: 52

Currently: Head coach at Delaware

HC Experience: Nine seasons at Rowan University; five seasons at Delaware.

Ties: Born and raised in Emmaus, Pa.

Latest: Said to be on the early long list but nothing ever materialized here.

Mike London

Age: 51

Currently: Head coach at Virginia.

HC Experience: Two seasons at Richmond, two seasons at Virginia.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: London signed a two-year extension with Virginia. No credible indications that PSU was in serious pursuit.

Gus Malzahn

Age: 46

Currently: Offensive coordinator at Auburn. Now the head coach at Arkansas State.

HC Experience: Spent 14 seasons at the high school level.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: Malzahn accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas State. No credible indicates PSU was in serious pursuit.

Dan Mullen

Age: 39

Currently: Head coach of Mississippi State.

HC Experience: Three seasons at Mississippi State.

Ties: Born in Drexel Hill, Pa.; graduated from Ursinus College. Grew up a Penn State fan. His father is a Penn State grad.

Latest: There was initial dialogue, however Mullen signed a one-year extension with Mississippi State.

Mike Munchak

Age: 51

Currently: Head coach of Tennessee Titans.

HC Experience: One season as Tennessee Titans head coach.

Ties: Born in Scranton, Pa. Graduated from Penn State in 1982. All-American lineman for PSU.

Latest: Munchak denied contacting Penn State about the open position, as had been reported in this space (and others) previously. The buzz around Munchak has been growing. In late December Munchak stated, "I have no interest in being the head coach [at Penn State]." But we now hear he is having second thoughts and may well want the job. Stay tuned.

Tim Murphy

Age: 55

Currently: Head coach at Harvard.

HC Experience: Two seasons at Maine; five seasons at Cincinnati; 18 seasons at Harvard

Ties: None apparent.

Bill O’Brien

Age: 42

Currently: Offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots.

HC Experience: None.

Ties: We know this is a stretch, but he is a graduate of Brown, the same school that produced Penn State’s last head coach.

Latest: After USA Today reported that O’Brien was all but signed, sealed and delivered to take over at Penn State, PSU and O’Brien’s camp both denied the report. The Patriots are in the middle of the NFL playoffs.

Gary Patterson

Age: 51

Currently: Head coach at Texas Christian.

HC Experience: 12 season with TCU; one season with Oregon Lighting Bolts (Spring Football League).

Ties: None apparent.

Darren Perry

Age: 43

Currently: Safeties Coach for Green Bay Packers

HC Experience: No

Ties: Graduated from Penn State in 1992. Played safety for the Lions. Played seven seasons and coached four seasons for Pittsburgh Steelers.

Latest: Perry's agent indicated he had interest in the head coaching opportunity at Penn State. If Perry returns to Happy Valley, it will likely be as an assistant.

Chris Petersen

Age: 47

Currently: Head coach at Boise State.

HC Experience: Six seasons at Boise State.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: Reportedly signed five-year, $2M/year deal on Jan. 3. We're thinking Penn State could beat that contract fairly easily.

Paul Rhoads

Age: 44

Currently: Head coach at Iowa State.

HC Experience: Is in his third season as head coach at Iowa State.

Ties: Rhoads was defensive coordinator at Pitt from 2000-07.

Latest: Rhodes signed a 10-year extension after Pitt was in contact. No credible indications PSU was in serious contact or pursuit.

Mark Richt

Age: 51

Currently: Head coach at Georgia

HC Experience: Has spent 11 seasons at Georgia.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: Richt postponed any contract extensions with Georgia until after the bowl game, which was a curious move. Indications are that Richt would want his extended family around him, so a move may be challenging, although there has been reported tension between UGA and Richt in recent years.

Greg Roman

Age: 39

Currently: Offensive coordinator with San Francisco 49ers.

HC Experience: None.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: Roman’s agent, Mike Harrison, has said Roman has been told “he’s on the short list” for the top job at PSU. Things can be kind of dicey when agents start yapping, though. Roman spent the previous two seasons at Stanford, where he worked with star quarterback Andrew Luck.

Greg Schiano

Age: 45

Currently: Head coach at Rutgers.

HC Experience: Eleven seasons at Rutgers.

Ties: Graduated from Bucknell, coached six years at Penn State.

Latest: Schiano's representatives reportedly inquired with Penn State and were told that Schiano was considered but not on short list.

Charlie Strong

Age: 51

Currently: Head coach at Louisville.

HC Experience: Two seasons at Louisville.

Ties: None apparent.

Kevin Sumlin

Age: 47

Currently: Head coach at Houston. Now at Texas A&M.

HC Experience: Four seasons at Houston.

Ties: None apparent.

Latest: Sumlin has accepted a deal to become the new head coach at Texas A&M. No credilbe indications PSU was in serious contact with Sumlin.

Stay tuned to for continuing coverage of Penn State football.


Fight On State Top Stories