Tag:Penn State
Posted on: January 14, 2011 9:45 am

Paterno accepts NCAA award, optimistic about '11

 Posted by Bryan Fischer

Penn State coach Joe Paterno was presented the 2011 President Gerald R. Ford Award during the NCAA’s annual convention Thursday night for his significant leadership in intercollegiate athletics during his long and storied career.

“I got to know President Ford at one of the Heisman Trophy dinners,” Paterno said. “He was vice president at the time, I think, when John Capeletti got the Heisman Trophy and he was one of the speakers. We start talking football and talking about Michigan coaches and the whole bit. He was such a true, blue Michigan guy. He wrote me a note, so we corresponded.

“He was a great guy, very unassuming. We got to be pretty good friends.”

Paterno is the ninth recipient of the award and it follows on the heels of his 44th season as the Nittany Lions head coach. Admittedly not as active in the NCAA as he once was, Paterno was concerned about the rise of high profile enforcement cases the association has been dealing with.

“Oh yeah I’m troubled, but I’m realistic,” he said. “There’s always someone looking for some sort of an advantage. My theory has been, when my coaches come back and say hey, so and so is doing this, so and so is doing that. We’re not policemen. We’ve got to take care of our house and we work at that.”

The Nittany Lions finished the year at 7-6 after falling to Florida in the Outback Bowl. Despite not reaching the nine win plateau for the first time since 2004, the coach was optimistic things would be better in 2011.

“I think we should be a little better than we were this past year,” Paterno said. “We had a lot of young kids, a lot of injuries, a little bit unsettled at a couple of key spots. I think if we can have a good winter program, a good spring, I think we’ll be a little better football team. How much better? Oh I don’t know.

“We’ve had a couple of coaches that have looked around to become head coaches but I think everybody will be back and it’ll be kind of a fun year.”

When asked if he would be back as head coach to lead Penn State for season number 45, the still sharp Paterno quickly flashed a large grin.

“I’m hoping,” he said. “My boss is here, our athletic director, ask him. I’m hoping. I feel good. I’m in good health. It’s amazing how the internet and all that kind of stuff can spread rumors so quickly.”

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: January 10, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: January 10, 2011 6:00 pm

Reports: Todd Graham 'a done deal' with Pitt

Posted by Adam Jacobi

According to Fox 23 out of Tulsa, the next Pittsburgh football coach will be Todd Graham of Tulsa. Fox 23 reports that while Graham's hiring has yet to be announced, it is a "done deal" and he will depart for Pittsburgh later this evening.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette confirms this report, reporting that Graham and Pitt have come to terms on a deal and will be announcing the hiring tomorrow. It's likely that the announcement may come later today, considering the pressure such reports put on athletic officials who are being asked constantly for confirmation, but Pitt's current plan is to take care of the formalities on Tuesday.

At any rate, this report likely dismays Panther fans who had been holding out hope for Tom Bradley , the longtime Penn State assistant who was the early favorite for the job. Bradley did interview with Pitt, but obviously those talks stalled at some point. It's also entirely possible that Pitt AD Steve Pederson just plain liked Graham better as a candidate (rather than, say, getting hung up on money with Bradley), but those specifics will have to come from Pederson.

Bradley is also interviewing with Connecticut this week, as the Huskies look to replace Randy Edsall after his move to Maryland a week ago.

Posted on: January 8, 2011 11:52 am

Robert Bolden staying at PSU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been quite the crazy week for Penn State quarterback Robert Bolden.  First he made the announcement that he planned on transferring from Penn State following a freshman season that hadn't gone nearly as well as he'd hoped.  The problem was that Joe Paterno wouldn't release him from his scholarship since Penn State was already losing quarterback Kevin Newsome to a transfer.  Obviously, this didn't make Robert Bolden very happy.  He wanted to leave, and he wasn't being allowed to.

Well, now he's staying.

According to his high school quarterbacks coach Don Buchanan, Bolden told him he's starting class next week and he will be remaining at Penn State to compete for the starting job.

“He’ll be back at Penn State Sunday and in school Monday,” Buchanan told The Daily Collegian. “He expects to compete for the starting quarterback job and will go through spring practices and everything.”

“I said, ‘That’s great,’ and I told him to keep your faith, keep your guidance and make sure that whatever he does, he goes at it at full speed.”

It seems maybe Paterno knew what he was doing, and that Bolden may have just been frustrated after not getting a chance to play in the Outback Bowl even though Matt McGloin threw five interceptions.  Now he'll be returning to State College to compete with McGloin and Paul Jones for the starting job.  Considering McGloin's limitations, and the fact he has a lot more game experience than Jones, you have to like his chances.
Posted on: January 6, 2011 1:37 pm

Report: Pitt interviewing Tulsa's Graham

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Wednesday brought quite a flurry of rumors about Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and the head coaching job at Pitt.  First he was the new head coach, then he wasn't.  Then he was texting his former players to let him know he was taking the job, and then he wasn't sending his players anything.  Here we are a day later, and Pitt still doesn't have a new head coach.

Will it end up being Bradley, we don't know.  What we do know, however, is that according to a report on Pantherlair.com, Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson wasn't even in Pittsburgh to be interviewing Bradley.  No, apparently he's in Atlanta to talk to Tulsa head coach Todd Graham.
According to sources, Pederson was in Atlanta meeting with Tulsa head coach Todd Graham.
Graham, 46, was interviewed in Pitt's first coaching search of the 2010-11 offseason, but multiple sources have confirmed that financial issues prevented him from moving further in the process. He is currently believed to be making more than $1 million annually at Tulsa. 
The report also says that Alabama assistant head coach Sal Sunseri has interviewed with Pitt as well this week.

Graham has been at Tulsa since 2007, and has gone 36-17 in those four seasons, and has had three seasons with at least 10 wins.  He has no experience coaching at Pitt, but he did spend a few years as an assistant at West Virginia.
Posted on: January 5, 2011 9:32 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 10:17 pm

Pitt denies reports of hiring PSU DC Tom Bradley

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.

Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:40 pm
Edited on: January 5, 2011 5:03 am

PSU QB Rob Bolden speaks: 'I'm pretty upset'

Posted by Adam Jacobi

As reported earlier, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno is currently not honoring the scholarship release request of freshman quarterback Rob Bolden. Paterno already lost quarterback Kevin Newsome to transfer earlier this season, and he couldn't have enjoyed seeing putative 2011 starter (and former walk-on) Matt McGloin struggle against Florida in the Outback Bowl last weekend.

Nonetheless, "I won't have enough quarterbacks if you leave" isn't going to placate a kid who wants to transfer, and Bolden and his family have been unusually open to the press while they've dealt with the matter. To that end, the Altoona Mirror spoke to Bolden on the phone tonight, and here's an excerpt from the interview:

Q: How disappointed are you that Joe denied the scholarship release?:

A: I'm pretty upset. I didn't understand why he would want me to stay if I didn't want to be there. I was looking to get out and get a release, but he thinks otherwise.

Q: What is your plan now? Are you coming back to PSU for school?:

A: I'm not sure yet. If I can figure out a way to get out of there with the release or whatever before Monday, then I'll do that. But if not, then we'll see what happens.

Q: If Joe does not release you, do you plan to come back?:

A: We'll see what happens. I'm not sure yet.

Bolden also mentions that "pretty much all" of his teammates have voiced their sympathy and support to him, so assuming that's true, JoePa's not doing much to get his locker room on his side. That's never a recipe for success, so Paterno needs to think carefully about how he's handling this situation.


Posted on: January 4, 2011 4:58 pm

Paterno denies Bolden's transfer request

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Following Penn State's loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl on Saturday, news broke out that Robert Bolden had informed the school that he wanted to transfer.  Which meant that Penn State was going to lose the two quarterbacks who began 2010 atop the team's depth chart.  Well, it seems that after seeing Matt McGloin's five-interception performance against Florida, Joe Paterno isn't all that comfortable with the idea of coming back for another season without Bolden as an option.

According to Bolden's parents, their and his father met with Joe and Jay Paterno on Tuesday to discuss his request to transfer, and Joe Paterno refused to grant Bolden's release from his scholarship.  Which Robert Bolden Sr. wasn't a big fan of, saying that he doesn't agree with the decision, and neither does his son.

Robert's mother, however, is somewhat pleased with the news.

"I didn't want Rob to leave," Tonia Williams told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think he should stay there. I just told him that I thought he was making the wrong decision. I really felt that he moved just a little bit too quick and too fast.

"I don't know what's going to happen now. He tried to get them to sign his release papers and they didn't do it. I don't know if that is going to make the situation worse or not, or if Rob will end up at another school."

Now, just because Bolden's release was denied now, doesn't mean it won't be approved in the future.  It could just be that Paterno would like his quarterback to take some more time before making his decision.  After all, you have to figure that if Bolden really does want out of Penn State, then there isn't much of a point in keeping him around.
Posted on: January 4, 2011 10:50 am

Hank Hughes named interim coach at UConn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UConn finds itself in unfamiliar territory at the moment, because for the first time in the school's FBS history, it has a coaching search to conduct.  The problem is, with signing day not even a month away, somebody needs to take the program over now to keep things running as smoothly as possible while the school begins its search.

And that person is going to be assistant head coach Hank Hughes.

"Hank Hughes is the perfect choice to fill the role as interim head coach for our football program," said UConn AD Jeffrey Hathaway in a statement. "He has been a long-time member of our coaching staff and is extremely loyal to our university and our Division of Athletics. Hank will provide outstanding leadership to our football student-athletes and support staff during this time of transition."

Hughes will also be a candidate to take over the job full time, but he won't be alone in that department.  While the school hasn't made any official announcement about who they'll be looking at, names that keep coming up as possibilities are Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, former Miami offensive coordinator Mark Whipple, and Iowa offensive coordinator Ken O'Keefe.

Ironically, another name being mentioned is the man who was supposed to be getting the Maryland job Randy Edsall left for, Mike Leach.  In a way, Mike Leach has become the new Randy Edsall since his name comes up for every coaching job, but he never gets the job.  Another possibility would be Rich Rodriguez should he be relieved of his duties at Michigan.
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