MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia has hired former longtime Penn State assistant Tom Bradley, who was interim head coach for the Nittany Lions after Joe Paterno was fired in 2011 during the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal.
Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said Friday in statement that Bradley will be senior associate head coach and his defensive coaching position will be designated later. Bradley was defensive coordinator for Penn State from 2000-11, and became interim coach for the final four games of the 2011 season.
Bradley also played at Penn State, started coaching there in 1979 and never went anywhere else. He was promoted to defensive coordinator when Sandusky took an early retirement after the 1999 season.
After Bill O’Brien took over as head coach at Penn State in 2012, Bradley was not retained. He has been working as an analyst for CBS Sports Network and on radio for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
”I want to thank Coach Dana Holgorsen and (athletic director) Oliver Luck for this tremendous opportunity to contribute to the continued growth and success of the Mountaineer football program,” Bradley said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, West Virginia promoted Tony Gibson to defensive coordinator to replace Keith Patterson, who was hired at Arizona State.
”Tony Gibson and I have recruited against each other in Pennsylvania for a lot of years, and it will be good to finally be on his side,” Bradley said.
Gibson, 41, is entering his 19th season as a college assistant coach, but will be a coordinator at an FBS school for the first time.
”Obviously it’s a dream come true for me to be in my home state, coaching the Mountaineers and the role I’m going to be in now,” Gibson said.
Gibson also will coach the linebackers. He was the safeties coach for the Mountaineers last year, when the defense was the worst in the Big 12 in passing yards and touchdown passes allowed and had the second-fewest sacks in the league. West Virginia went 4-8 in 2013.
Bradley led some of the best defenses in the country during his time as defensive coordinator for Penn State, and was considered the most likely in-house candidate to one day replace Paterno – though certainly not in the fashion that it occurred.
Paterno was fired days after Sandusky was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault against young boys.
Three former Penn State officials, including former university President Graham Spanier and former Athletic Director Tim Curley, have been accused of covering up the allegations against Sandusky and are facing criminal charges.
Penn State went 1-3 under Bradley to close out the 2011 season.