Tennessee Titans first-year coach Mike Munchak is the leading candidate for the coaching job at Penn State University, where he played on the offensive line under former coach Joe Paterno, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported today.
Munchak is the top pick of the university’s search committee, the newspaper reported today citing unidentified people. The committee is looking for a replacement to the 85-year-old Paterno, who was fired last month following his handling of child sex-abuse charges against former Nittany Lions assistant Jerry Sandusky.
Titans spokesman Robbie Bohren declined in an e-mail to comment on the report prior to Munchak’s regularly scheduled press conference later today. Penn State spokesman Jeff Nelson said he had no comment on the report.
Munchak said at a Dec. 2 press conference that he wasn’t lobbying for the Penn State job and hadn’t spoken with anyone at the university about the vacancy.
“I know things are going to come up with me because I’m from Penn State, I played football there, graduated there,” Munchak said. “It’s a natural thing to start wondering.”
Munchak, 51, was an offensive lineman at Penn State from 1978 to 1981. A 2001 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he has spent his entire National Football League career with the Titans’ organization as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
Tom Bradley is 1-2 as interim coach following Paterno’s ouster. The Nittany Lions play the University of Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2. Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements, a former All-American at the University of Notre Dame, is next on the list to succeed Paterno, according to the Post-Gazette.