Posted by Chip Patterson and Adam Jacobi
With Pittsburgh furiously on the hunt to replace dismissed head coach Mike Haywood , one of the popular candidates has been Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley. Rumors began swirling on Wednesday night that Bradley was going to accept the open position, and a report from PennLive.com is claiming that the assistant coach had sent text messages to at least two players informing them of his plans to become the new Panthers head coach "once details are worked out. "
According to the report, Bradley texted to one player: "Love you kids. Going to miss you. Wish I could take you with me. Anything I can do for you, let me know."
UPDATE, 10:15 p.m.: PennLive.com reporter David Jones has retracted the report about Bradley sending text messages and taken responsibility for the error.
Pitt, for what it's worth, has denied that Bradley or anybody else has been offered the job, but even the denial is tepid at best; the spokesman admitted "mutual admiration" between Bradley and the school.
Bradley interviewed for the job on Tuesday , and has been unable to be reached by phone or email since then. He was considered one of the frontrunners for the job along with Alabama assistant Sal Sunseri , and to a lesser extent Tulsa head coach Todd Graham , Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst , and former Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.
After finishing his career playing at Penn State, Bradley, a lifelong Pennsylvania native, moved immediately to the Nittany Lions sidelines. He has been an assistant coach under Joe Paterno since 1980, and even had stints of head coaching duties when Paterno was suffering health issues.
For Pittsburgh, the hire is about as classy as they come. Bradley will be able to quickly change the tone of a program that currently appears to be lost and looking for direction. He has been recruiting the area his entire career and his roots in the college game run deep. After Dave Wannstedt , that will be a welcome asset for Panther fans.