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Penn State says it could have a new coach 'in a matter of days'

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Penn State AD Dave Joyner is conducting his second coaching search in three years
Penn State AD Dave Joyner is conducting his second coaching search in three years. (USATSI)

Penn State currently finds itself without a head coach, but according to athletic director Dave Joyner, it may not be very long before it finds another one.

On Thursday Joyner said a new coach could be announced "in a matter of days rather than weeks" and that "a number of prominent head coaches" have already reached out to Penn State about the job opening.

"Our job is going to be to select the next great football coach at Penn State and to get the best football coach available," Joyner said. "We've begun a very robust search that will bring us a great next football coach."

As for whom that coach will be, or whether they've been interviewed, Joyner did not say. He also made it clear that previous ties to the school won't be a requirement for the school, though they will be considered.

Larry Johnson is currently serving as the interim coach, and Joyner said he wouldn't rule Johnson out as the new coach if Johnson shows an interest in taking the job. Johnson is the only coach on the Penn State staff that worked under Joe Paterno.

As for the likely candidates for the job, we've already gone over a few obvious names that will come up in this search, but it's hard to say where Penn State will end up. Bill O'Brien wasn't the school's first choice two years ago, and while the situation at Penn State has certainly improved since then -- thanks in large part to O'Brien -- that doesn't mean coaches will necessarily be knocking down the doors this time around, either.

This will be a very important hire for the school as it tries to move past the Jerry Sandusky scandal and get through NCAA sanctions to reestablish itself as a power within the Big Ten. Something that won't be easy to do in the new Big Ten East Division that includes traditional powers Ohio State and Michigan and the latest Rose Bowl champion, Michigan State.

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