Following the ouster of Joe Paterno as head coach at Penn State, effective immediately, assistant coach Tom Bradley will take over on an interim basis. Bradley is no stranger to the university, having served as Paterno's defensive coordinator since 1980. The Penn State graduate played defensive back for Paterno from 1975-79.
Under Bradley, the Nittany Lions produced eight consensus All-Americans on defense: LaVar Arrington, Courtney Brown, Shane Conlan, Dan Connor, Tamba Hali, Aaron Maybin, Paul Posluszny, and Brandon Short. He's frequently mentioned among top head-coaching candidates whenever a vacancy appears, but has been releuctant to leave Penn State due to his strong ties there. In Jan. 2011, SB Nation Pittsburgh contributor Anson Whaley argued the Pittsburgh Panthers ought to hire Bradley to replace Mike Haywood. Whaley touted Bradley's reputation as an excellent developer of talent and recruiter.
Bradley has a tough task ahead of him. Replacing an icon like Paterno, the all-time victories leader among FBS coaches, is difficult under any circumstances, but especially these, as Paterno departed abruptly, unceremoniously, and three days before a crucial Big Ten contest. The No. 12 Nittany Lions host the No. 19 Nebraska Cornhuskers this Saturday, Nov. 12.
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