The FOS Coaching Big Board

Get the lowdown on the hottest prospects as Penn State looks to name a new leader of the Nittany Lion football program.

Welcome to the FightOnState.com Penn State Coaching Search Big Board.

Below, you will find bios of the men we are hearing are in play for the Nittany Lions' open head coach position. We will update this board with the latest buzz as it becomes available, and may add or subtract names depending on how the search goes and what information we learn.

The coaches are listed in alphabetical order.


Jim Caldwell
Current Position:
Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator
Age:
58
Overall record:
26-63 (all at Wake Forest from 1993-2000)
Salary:
NA
Buyout:
NA
Latest Buzz:
According to the Washington Post, both the Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions have interest in Caldwell. He was scheduled to interview with Redskins on 1/3 and Lions this week ... We initially thought Caldwell was a long shot for the PSU job but are now hearing more buzz about him.
Notable:
Only college head coaching experience was at Wake. But he was a longtime assistant at the college level, including a successful stretch as quarterbacks coach at Penn State (1986-92). … Was head coach of the Indianapolis Colts from 2009-11, going 26-22.
Positives:
Took the Colts to the 2010 Super Bowl. … Was previously quarterbacks coach and assistant head coach, and worked with future Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning. … Has significant experience in the college and pro ranks. … Was well-liked as a coach at Penn State and highly thought of in the State College community.
Negatives:
He has been out of the college game since 2000. … The Ravens finished 29th in the NFL in total offense and 30th in rushing offense during the 2013 regular season.

James Franklin
Current Position:
Vanderbilt Head Coach
Age:
41
Overall record:
23-15 (all at Vandy)
Salary:
$1.842 million (per USA Today)
Buyout:
Not public
Latest Buzz:
Thursday morning, we reported that a deal had been reached but was conditional and awaiting the approval of PSU's Board of Trustees. … Later Thursday, multiple media outlets reported that Franklin would be the next head coach at Penn State and that the contract would be approved at a Saturday morning meeting of the BOT's compensation committee. … As this was going on, Thursday night Vandy athletic director David Williams told USA Today Franklin was "still trying to make a decision." … We were told Franklin received a contract offer Wednesday. … As first reported on the FOS TAP Forum, Tuesday morning Vanderbilt's coordinators began following Penn State commitments — including early enrollees — on Twitter. The Nashville Post later ran a story on this. See it here. … FootballScoop.com is reporting that Penn State plans to offer Franklin. We have not confirmed this news. … The Nashville Tennessean reported Sunday night that Franklin did not want to talk about his coaching future. Franklin texted the paper, "Excited about going to LA, we can talk later." Franklin was going to California to be part of ESPN's coverage for the BCS Championship game. As of Monday afternoon, Franklin had not addressed his coaching future while on camera with ESPN. … According to CoachingSearch.com, Franklin was set to interview for the Penn State head coaching job on Sunday 1/5. It was not clear where that interview would take place. … He appears to be high on Penn State's list at this point. But how high? ... ESPN is reporting that the NFL's Browns and Redskins are interested in interviewing Franklin.
Notable:
Pennsylvania native (Langhorne) who graduated from East Stroudsburg University. … Worked under former Penn State linebackers coach and then-Maryland head coach Ron Vanderlinden with the Terps in 2000.
Positives:
Made Vanderbilt into a competitive team in the very difficult SEC. The Commodores have been to three straight bowls, after never having been to bowls in consecutive seasons before. … Has coached at a variety of college levels, and also in the NFL, where he was the Green Bay Packers' receivers coach in 2005. … Is used to coaching at a school that puts an emphasis on academics.
Negatives:
Earlier this year, four Vanderbilt players were dismissed from the team amid rape allegations. The case is still open. … Other schools with openings are surely targeting Franklin.

Al Golden
Current Position:
Miami Head Coach
Age:
44
Overall record:
49-49 (22-15 at Miami)
Salary:
$2.148 million (per USA Today)
Buyout:
Not public
Latest Buzz:
A day after reportedly meeting with Penn State, Golden announced he was staying at Miami. Check it out here.
Notable:
Golden's contract with the Hurricanes runs through 2020. … His wife, Kelly, is from Lock Haven, Pa., right down the road from State College. … Golden himself hails from New Jersey.
Positives:
Played at Penn State, lettering from 1989-91 as a tight end. … Served as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Lions in 2000. … Helped turn around an awful Temple football program and kept Miami competitive during a highly visible NCAA investigation.
Negatives:
Has yet to prove he can be a consistent winner at the major-college level. … Left Penn State to become defensive coordinator at Virginia in January of 2001, weeks before signing day..

Larry Johnson
Current Position:
Penn State Interim Head Coach
Age:
61
Overall record:
NA
Salary:
NA
Buyout:
NA
Latest Buzz:
Johnson interviewed for the job Tuesday 1/7 afternoon. We understand no offer was made immediately after the interview. … Reports of a Friday 1/3 interview proved false. … Johnson said he interviewed for the job before Bill O'Brien was hired, but he obviously did not get the position. … Johnson is not sure if the will stay with the Lions if he does not get the job. … A Facebook page backing Johnson for the head coaching job has been created and is right here. … Numerous former and current players are supporting Johnson for the job, too.
Notable:
Johnson had been an assistant coach with the Nittany Lions since 1996, working primarily with the defensive line. … His two sons, Larry Jr. and Tony, both played at Penn State.
Positives:
Beloved among current players, especially the defensive linemen. … One of Penn State's top recruiters. … Has sent waves of defensive linemen into the NFL, including six first-round draft picks.
Negatives:
Has no heading-coaching experience at the college level and only served a very short period (the end of the 2011 season) as a coordinator.

Mike Munchak
Current Position:
Unemployed
Age:
53
Overall record:
Never coached in college.
Salary:
NA
Buyout:
NA
Latest Buzz:
ESPN is reporting that Munchak will interview with the Detroit Lions Friday 1/10. … Munchak was fired Saturday 1/4 after three seasons as head coach of the Titans. … Sunday 1/5, ESPN reported that Munchak was set to interview with Penn State. ... Later in the day, Munchak told Nashville Tennessean beat writer Jim Wyatt that he spent the day cleaning out his office and did not interview with Penn State. … Monday 1/6, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that Munchak did interview Sunday.
Notable:
Was a starting offensive lineman at Penn State in 1979 and '81. … Became a Hall of Fame player with the NFL's Houston Oilers. … He hails from Scranton, Pa.
Positives:
Played at Penn State. … Was an NFL assistant coach from 1994-2010 before serving as a head coach the last two years.
Negatives:
Did we mention his has never coached — even as an assistant — at the college level? So he has never recruited. … Has a losing record (22-26) in three seasons with the Titans. … Was recently fired from his previous job.

Greg Roman
Current Position:
San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator
Age:
41
Overall record:
NA
Salary:
NA
Buyout:
NA
Latest Buzz:
CBSSports.com is reporting that Roman interviewed for the Penn State job in "an offsite meeting."
Notable:
Hails from Ventnor, N.J. … Agent claimed Roman was a finalist for the PSU job when Bill O'Brien was hired in January of 2012.
Positives:
Has significant experience coaching different offensive positions in the NFL. … Was offensive coordinator at Stanford from 2009-10. … As OC with the Niners, he's been credited with helping the rapid development of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Negatives:
Has no head coaching experience at any level. … The 49ers ranked 30th of 32 NFL teams in passing offense during the 2013 regular season.

Greg Schiano
Current Position:
Unemployed
Age:
47
Overall record:
68-67
Salary:
None
Buyout:
None
Latest Buzz:
Unless something changes dramatically, we don't envision anything materializing here. … Network sources believe Schiano may take a year off from coaching before getting back into the game.
Notable:
Schiano was an assistant coach at Penn State from 1990-95, starting as a graduate assistant and then working with the defensive backs. … The record above reflects Schiano's performance as head coach at Rutgers (2001-11).
Positives:
Helped turn around the Rutgers program and actually took the Scarlet Knights to six bowls (going 5-1). … Was a strong recruiter in the Northeast.
Negatives:
Rutgers never won a Big East title under Schiano. … He was recently fired after two seasons with the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where his overall record was 11-20. … The Bucs ranked last in the NFL in total offense and passing offense during the 2013 regular season.


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