Penn State has a terrific head coach, and they aren't firing him anytime soon. Then why did a current NFL head coach take time out of his day to assure everybody he will not be the head coach at Penn State next season?
Mike Munchak (left) and Bill O'Brien currently have jobs. And Penn State has to be pleased with where its program is headed. But you would have never known that based on Thursday's chatter.
The Penn State football program currently has a head coach — a rather successful one. Thus it only makes sense that the school is not looking to hire a new coach.
But in the world of college and professional football, things rarely make sense. Just take a look at Thursday, which brought us the story of a currently employed NFL coach spending time telling everybody who would listen that he is not interested in coaching in Happy Valley — again, a job vacancy which currently does not exist.
"I did not reach out to anybody, and nobody did on my behalf. And I don’t have an agent," Munchak, a Penn State alum, said of the report in the Patriot-News about his interest in coaching the Nittany Lions. "They have a coach there, and I have a job here. So it’s just not true. I don’t think there is any merit to any of the three of us, I’m sure."
But there's a catch for any coach who may be interested in taking over at Penn State: Bill O'Brien already has the job. O'Brien quit his job as Patriots offensive coordinator after the 2011 season to take over at Penn State, shortly after the school fired legendary coach Joe Paterno in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. Despite facing heavy sanctions and a reduction in scholarships, O'Brien has guided the Nittany Lions to a 15-9 record over the past two seasons.
Hardly the resume of a coach on his way out the door. Unless the NFL comes calling, apparently.
O'Brien reportedly interviewed with multiple NFL clubs at the end of last season, but decided to stay at Happy Valley and continue the resurrecting job he took on. According to numerous reports, O'Brien and the school agreed to lower the buyout an NFL team would have to pay to hire the coach from $13 million to $6.5 million, making it far easier for an NFL owner to bring on O'Brien.