Penn State announces departure of LB, QB coaches

Ron Vanderlinden had coached at Penn State since 2001. (USATSI)
Ron Vanderlinden had coached at Penn State since 2001. (USATSI)
Penn State has undergone a minor staff shakeup at the close of Bill O'Brien's second season in charge in Happy Valley.

O'Brien and the Nittany Lions announced Tuesday that linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher had "resigned to pursue other opportunities." The changes had been reported by multiple State College outlets late Monday and early Tuesday.

"I appreciate all of Ron and Charlie's hard work and thank them for their dedication and service to Penn State," said O'Brien. "I wish them well in all their future endeavors."

Vanderlinden had coached at Penn State since 2001, helping mold many of the stars that would maintain the Lions' reputation as "Linebacker U" such as Dan Connor and Paul Posluszny. With his departure, defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. is the only remaining assistant coach from the late Joe Paterno's Nittany Lion staff.

"I've greatly enjoyed my 13 years at Penn State and all the student-athletes I had an opportunity to work with," Vanderlinden said. "I wish Coach O'Brien and Penn State nothing but the best in the future."

Fisher was hired by O'Brien prior to the 2012 season, arriving from Miami (OH). His true freshman pupil Christian Hackenburg finished third in the Big Ten in passing and posted a 20-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Though the Nittany Lions' 7-5 mark in 2013 fell short of their 8-4 record in O'Brien's debut, the season ended on a positive note with a surprising 31-24 defeat of Wisconsin in Madison.

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