There have been announcements, and confirmations of the men who will fill the assistant coaching positions at PSU under Bill O'Brien (for the meantime, anyway).
Attention readers, grains of salt may be found in the entry way and may be taken as needed/desired.
First of all I want to say that I have been an advocate of a coaching overhaul for years (many years) and even with the upheaval of November, ignoring any pangs of regret and nostalgia, it has been very clear to me that, regardless of what fans, alum, lettermen, I may have wanted or hoped for, PSU had really no choice but to bring in a totally new staff.
O'Brien has retained Larry Johnson, Sr. as Defensive Line coach and Ron Vanderlinden as Linebacker coach. I'm pleased to see these two remain at PSU - I think they are exceptionally talented coaches and I look forward to their continued success. He has also kept Strength and Conditioning Coach John Thomas.
So let's get started -
First, there's Tight End coach John Strollo, who currently coaches O line for Ball State - a position he's held for 1 season. I don't really have any beef with Strollo, except that his resume is devoid of FBS experience, except for 3 seasons at Duke and this 1 season at Ball State. And, in the last 31 years, he's worked at 11 different schools - his longest tenure (81-82 and 84-90) being at Northeastern.
Next - Charles London, running backs. London played college ball at Duke and, after a number of years working in front offices (including event planning for Disney Wide World of Sports) he took a job as assistant for the Chicago Bears and then (look for a pattern) last season he moved to the Tennessee Titans where he served as Offensive Assistant/Quality Control coach.
Let's move on to John Butler - oh John Butler - if this works out, you are destined to be my favorite - consider yourself warned. Butler (gotta love the name) will coach Dbacks (fav players too). I would/should put Butler at the end - but I'm going to try and be optimistic (this will make more sense later). Butler got his coaching start in 2001, at SouthWestern State, and has spent time at Harvard and Minnesota. And, (all together now) since 2011, he has worked at South Carolina (eep! Steve Spurrier) as Special Teams Coordinator - BUT DON'T WORRY - he coached d-backs at South Western State. Still cute.
And that takes us to the remaining assistant coaches - Mac McWhorter, offensive line, Stan Hixon, Wide Receivers, George Godsey, quarterbacks and Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator.
All of these gentlemen have one thing in common - they have worked for George O'Leary (he's baaaaaack).
McWhorter, who played for Georgia, has been coaching college ball since 1980 - spending time at a lot of prestigious schools, including Bama, Clemson, UGA and most recently at Texas - he has coached the Longhorns' line since 2002. But from 2000 - 2001 he worked at Georgia Tech, for and with George O'Leary - and he stepped in as GT's head coach (after O'Leary left) for their 2001 bowl game.
Stan Hixon, PSU's new wide receivers coach left the college football scene in 2004 to work for the Washington Redskins and has worked for the Buffalo Bills since 2010. Hixon spent some time in FCS in the 1980s, but later took gigs at South Carolina and Wake Forest - before he went to work at Georgia Tech in 1995 where he worked for O'Leary through the 1999 season (when he left to go to LSU).
George Godsey never worked at Georgia Tech! but he played there - for George O'Leary. AND he worked for O'Leary down at UCF from 2004 - 2010. He worked as an offensive assistant (focusing on quarterbacks!) for the Patriots - for the 2011 season. He is our new quarterbacks coach.
And finally, Ted Roof, Defensive Coordinator - this is the one hire that most people have some concerns about - his resume is impressive - National Championship at Auburn, working for Alabama and Minnesota; but it's the actual performance of his squads that have most fans worried. He was at Minnesota for 1 season 2008 (was there with Butler) - Which is indicative of his career, having worked for 11, now 12 teams in the last 25 years. AND from 1998 - 2001 he worked at Georgia Tech. And he was slated to move with O'Leary to Notre Dame (he went to Duke instead - wait, who else went to Duke?). Roof worked for Auburn 2009 - 2011 but at the end of the season (okay 1 month ago) he was relieved of his duties - on his way to being Penn State's DC he made one quick stop - he was hired as UCF's DC - for one month.
I want to stop typing George O'Leary - and maybe if someone would just address this issue - please please please - just explain why you're reassembling your former boss/mentor's staff? I realize that these are people with whom O'Brien worked over the years - I do, I get it - but just a quick - even a canned, patronizing answer - that's all I want.
Or maybe this is all just payback for all those times PSU beat Syracuse ...