While most of Friday’s focus has been on the coaching vacancy at Texas, there have been a couple of developments as it pertains to another iconic football program as well.
According to ESPN.com, Miami head coach Al Golden has “agreed to speak about the [Penn State] opening as early as Friday.” The PSU source told the website’s Joe Schad that “[i]t would be coming home. There is a sense of obligation about listening about coming home to Penn State.”
Golden, who recently completed his third season with the Hurricanes, played his college football for the Nittany Lions and was on Joe Paterno‘s staff in 2000 as a linebackers coach. The 44-year-old Golden has guided The U through its own round of NCAA sanctions; whether he would want to do the same in Happy Valley remains to be seen, although the fact that he’s reportedly open to discussing the job is certainly encouraging for the search committee.
As it may relate to those concerns, one possible plus for those pushing for Golden is that there’s a very real possibility the Nittany Lions could see their NCAA sanctions, which stem from the Jerry Sandusky scandal, reduced even further later this year.
FootballScoop.com took ESPN’s report a step further, tweeting that “[s]ources at both Miami and Penn State tell us Al Golden to PSU is [a] strong possibility.”
In addition to Golden, CoachingSearch.com is reporting that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin will interview for the Penn State job Sunday. Franklin has become the Jon Gruden of active coaches, with his name connected to USC and Texas and a couple of NFL jobs over the past couple of months alone. Franklin’s Commodores play in the BBVA Compass Bowl Saturday night, with the end of Vandy’s season likely leading to some movement, one way or the other, on Franklin’s future in Nashville.
Like Golden, Mike Munchak is another potential candidate drawing interest from Penn State with ties to the school. The current head coach of the Tennessee Titans, Munchak played his college football with the Nittany Lions and has been mentioned previously as a potential replacement for Bill O'Brien. Munchak is reportedly meeting with his NFL bosses today to determine his future with the organization, although some reports suggest Munchak, who has never coached at the collegiate level, is already on his way out.
Golden, Franklin and Munchak, ESPN wrote in its report, “top the list of Penn State’s candidates to replace… O’Brien.”
UPDATED 4:44 p.m. ET: Take the following tweet, from Rivals.com Miami website CaneSport.com, for what it’s worth. Obviously, we’ll be tracking this development and updating events as warranted.
CaneSport has confirmed that Al Golden has been offered the head coaching job at Penn State. While expected to take it, no word yet from Al
— CaneSport Miami Hurricanes (@CaneSport) January 3, 2014