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Report: Mike Munchak is Penn State’s first choice

Mike Munchak AP

Titans head coach Mike Munchak is the first choice of the Penn State search committee tasked with finding a replacement for Joe Paterno.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Penn State is getting close to hiring a head coach, and the school wants Munchak, who played for Paterno at Penn State in the 1970s and 1980s.

What’s not known is whether Munchak wants the job. He said four weeks ago that he hadn’t talked to Penn State, but that doesn’t mean he’d turn down the job if offered to him. At the moment Munchak is preparing for the Titans’ season finale against the Texans, and if the Titans win and get some help he’ll then have the playoffs to prepare for.

According to the report, if Munchak turns Penn State down the school’s second choice would be Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.

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31 Responses to “Report: Mike Munchak is Penn State’s first choice”
  1. kosarkid says: Dec 28, 2011 8:04 AM

    It’s a test to see whether or not he can keep a secret.

  2. packattack1967 says: Dec 28, 2011 8:11 AM

    Eliminate the football program at Penn State.

  3. gmen1987 says: Dec 28, 2011 8:13 AM

    2 Questions:

    1. Why would Mike Munchak want that job and all it’s baggage when he has a young talented Titans team?

    2. I thought Penn State was looking for a coach that in not a former Penn State player or anyone who has no connections with Penn State what so ever.

  4. fissels says: Dec 28, 2011 8:32 AM

    I hope Munchak takes the job. He can rebuild the program. He was there when the program produced excellent people as well as great football players.

  5. pastabelly says: Dec 28, 2011 8:33 AM

    That football program is toxic and its history will always be linked to child rape. Only a fool would take that job. Munchak has been with the Oilers/Titans franchise for thirty years and has had a decent year as head coach. I don’t understand why he would risk all of that for Penn State even though he’s a graduate. This makes no sense.

  6. khuxford says: Dec 28, 2011 8:35 AM

    I hope Munchak decides he wants that job and slacks in prepping for the Texans game.

    Signed,
    A Jets fan

  7. crindal3000 says: Dec 28, 2011 8:44 AM

    Until all the facts come out and the authorities get to the bottom of how much information was covered up and how many Penn “Staters” knew about it, why would any coach want this job?

  8. deconjonesbitchslap says: Dec 28, 2011 8:48 AM

    …who would want that job? that entire university is going to crumble.

  9. jerruhjones21 says: Dec 28, 2011 8:52 AM

    We are Ped State!

  10. 6250claimer says: Dec 28, 2011 8:55 AM

    Penn State? Really?? The entire school is tainted with the scarlet letter now, and will be for decades. They’ll be lucky to attract students at all, much less student-atlhetes. Anybody who doesn’t see that the football program is beyond doom is blind or doesn’t want to face the obvious. San Jose State will be a have a more prolific football program than Penn State, for decades if not forever. Sad but true.

  11. kwphilly4for4 says: Dec 28, 2011 9:00 AM

    There is absolutely no reason for this guy to even think of taking over that program. There is no way that when the facts come out that this school escapes sanctions.

    Coaching in the pro’s is the pinnacle of football, going to college and dealing with sanctions, boosters, NCAA, BCS has never made any sense to me at all. Some guys love it I guess and love their schools.

    I would rather coach in an league that admits they are a businessm runs itself that way instead if hiding behind words like student-athlete. College FB and Basketball are a mess.

  12. pavelfitzgerald says: Dec 28, 2011 9:02 AM

    I think Clements time as a CFL quarterback would help him as a college coach due to the similarities of the “run n’ gun” based offences. He’s obviously peoved his worth with Aaron Rodgers & Matt Flynn

  13. 6ball says: Dec 28, 2011 9:04 AM

    .

    Did we reach the expiration date on the Penn State story? The media should be on that daily. One of our top universities engaging in institutionalized child molestation / cover-up / perjury and we don’t have the ink to keep writing about it. To me, a much worse crime than Michael Vick .

    .

  14. lonespeed says: Dec 28, 2011 9:07 AM

    I hope he and Clement both turn it down. In my opinion, Penn State never accepted responsibility or recognized how vile of a situation they had on their hands. In many ways, they were enablers.

    I hope their coaching search is long and painful. Regardless of who they get, its probably going to take quite a while for the program to recover.

    What recruit is going to want to subject themselves to that circus of an environment for four-years when so many other options are available?

  15. kevpft says: Dec 28, 2011 9:12 AM

    This shows that the people handling the coaching search are idiots. They shouldn’t be looking for someone with close ties to PSU, they should be looking for someone with no ties whatsoever to the program.

    Why the heck would you want to bring someone in who was trained in the fine art of worshipping Paterno and his type of dictatorship? That’s what enabled the whole problem in the first place.

    I say either bring in a hard-nosed, disciplined outsider coach who will agree to complete transparency, then fire everyone who’s still left in the football program – or just end the program altogether. Anything less than either of those options will keep some part of the old ways intact, and that’s not good for anyone.

  16. tatum064 says: Dec 28, 2011 9:16 AM

    Is dude getting fired..and if so, why would he go to the most toxic, scandal ridden University on the planet?….why the hell would Tom Clements leave a Super Bowl contender, when he could have a probable coaching job elsewhere (should the Pack get another Ring?)

    -Mike Munchak

  17. realityonetwo says: Dec 28, 2011 9:19 AM

    A guy named “Munch Sack” will fit right in at Ped State…

  18. SDR says: Dec 28, 2011 9:54 AM

    All of the commenters saying Munchak shouldn’t take this job & wishing for the death of PSU really need to look at themselves in the mirror. Imagine if you were a student athlete there right now – haven’t they suffered enough?

    Is what happened @ PSU atrocious? Of course. But trashing the program & saying that you hope it fails make you truly sad individuals. Everyone associated with what went down (coaches, administrators, etc) has already been removed from the program.

    The only thing that matters now are the kids who are currently still there. They have absolutely ZERO responsibility for what happened yet all of you would sooner see them fail than succeed. Frankly that’s a pathetic, small-minded opinion & i’m truly sorry that people like you have such a negative world view.

    While I have no allegiance to PSU whatsoever, seeing all of you wish failure upon the current students for the misdeeds of previous administrations disgusts me. All these kids wanna do is play football & go to college. Yet you people would rather see them suffer than prop them up & help them heal. That is so pathetic I dont even know what to say.

    I for one hope Munchak (or Clements) takes the job & that PSU returns to its glory sooner rather than later. I mean why shouldn’t they? If they want to get back in the college game, the team wasn’t all that bad this year & returns most of its starters. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to be the guy that led PSU OUT of the abyss of scandal and back into the spotlight for all the right reasons??

  19. tebowsgonnagitya says: Dec 28, 2011 10:09 AM

    Ohio State called to remind us all that child rape is a bigger crime than tattooing.

  20. 6ball says: Dec 28, 2011 10:17 AM

    .

    @SDR

    I’ll be happy to show my concern for the current Penn State students. Let me know when they’re done protesting and rioting in front of Joe Pa’s house because the media was being unfair to him.

    .

  21. groess says: Dec 28, 2011 10:34 AM

    @SDR

    Great post. Nice to read something well thought out instead of the usual rapid response drivel on here.

    @6ball

    Do you really believe that small amount of protesters represent the feelings of all the PSU alumni and current students?

  22. realitypolice says: Dec 28, 2011 10:48 AM

    groess says:
    Dec 28, 2011 10:34 AM

    @6ball

    Do you really believe that small amount of protesters represent the feelings of all the PSU alumni and current students?
    ==========================

    I dunno, you tell me- there’s an online petition right now decrying the lack of “due process” in the treatment of Joe Paterno that has the signatures of thousands of PSU fans.

    I don’t live in PA but I grew up there, and I have dozens of FB friends who went to Penn State. They are still posting pro-Paterno messages online almost daily along with links to petitions and message boards, etc. with thousands of fans professing their unconditional love for JoePa and screaming about the “injustice” that has been done to the their great program.

  23. cereal blogger says: Dec 28, 2011 11:11 AM

    JoePa/Sandusky/the slimey admins,,,none of those guys are bigger than the PennState community & core of ideals

  24. rajbais says: Dec 28, 2011 11:17 AM

    Munchak’s gig in Nashville is too good for him to go to a program that is expected to cripple up!!!

  25. tiredofthisstuff says: Dec 28, 2011 11:19 AM

    First of all, when did being a kid extend past 18 and into your 20s. This stinks like the Catholic Church scandal of the 90s.

  26. Nevis says: Dec 28, 2011 11:35 AM

    Hope he doesn’t Saban. Or Patrino.

  27. 6ball says: Dec 28, 2011 11:44 AM

    .

    @groess

    “do you really think a small number of protesters represent the feelings of Penn State students and alumni “?

    To quote noted wordsmith, @realitypolice, ‘ I dunno “. All I can tell you is ; I’ve read and watched the media accounts. I saw an actual riot on my TV….in favor of Paterno.
    I saw university officials indicted. I’ve heard very little from students and alumni.

    I do not have all the information to know their their true feelings ….although rioting in protest can sometimes be an indicator. If the students and alumni stage a tear gas inducing demonstration against Paterno, I would certainly take that into account.

    .

  28. kevpft says: Dec 28, 2011 2:26 PM

    @SDR:

    The people who have suffered enough are all of the people who were abused in that atrocious system as kids, a system still poisoned with the same kind of denial of responsibility that created the problem in the first place. Sexual abuse and the terror, lifelong anguish and debilitating trauma that comes along with it is suffering.

    Justice is rarely convenient. If someone commits murder or steals, it’s tragic for their kids to lose their dad to prison. If a company commits fraud, it’s hurtful to its employees and shareholders and their families to see it lose money and potentially be shut down.

    Every crime affects the innocent. The students currently at Penn State presumably are innocent, but that doesn’t mean you protect a criminal because justice is inconvenient.

    Here’s what I think should happen: if current PSU students wish to keep playing sports, Penn State should provide full scholarships – every single benefit their student-athletes currently have – for the students to use in attending other institutions, and actively work with other institutions to place students in the best places possible.

    Disruptive? Definitely. Stressful for students and families? For sure. Wanting everyone to fail and suffer? No. PSU needs tearing down and rebuilding, not coddling for the sake of one group of students that will be out of college within a few years. I say, help the current students get on with their pursuits, but do everything it takes to clean up this horrible mess.

  29. SDR says: Dec 28, 2011 3:17 PM

    @Kevpft

    You’re right in that the victims of the abuse are the people who have & will continue to suffer the most. No amount of money or firings will change that.

    And while yours is a thoughtful response I have to disagree with a few things you wrote.

    1)”but that doesn’t mean you protect a criminal because justice is inconvenient.”

    So you’re saying the ENTIRE institution at PSU is a criminal?? That’s overreaching and you know it. The criminals themselves – coaches & admninistrators – have all been punished & removed from their jobs. Most of them will also probably be headed to jail. So how does penalizing the current student athletes make PSU pay?? Because it will cost them money and bowl games?? Well what happens then? As PSU loses money, they’ll cut costs. When they start cutting costs what happens?? More innocent people (support staff, administrative staff, etc) will lose their jobs.

    2)”Penn State should provide full scholarships – every single benefit their student-athletes currently have – for the students to use in attending other institutions, and actively work with other institutions to place students in the best places possible”

    Seriously? So you’re way of “tearing down & rebuilding” PSU is to send all of its student athletes to another institution on PSU’s dime?? For starters I doubt that the NCAA would allow that. But more importantly, doing that would continue to punish the institution as a whole. It wouldn’t help rebuild it. And for how long would you do that? 2 years? 4? How much time is enough time??
    Plus As I said above, all that lost revenue from the athletic department would no doubt lead to cost cutting which eventually would cost people their jobs. Innocent people who just happen to work at Penn State. Do you really think that’s fair??

    The only way to truly rebuild & recover from a scandal like this is to do it with people who love the institution and are determined to do things differently moving forward. Those people (especially the student athletes) are most likely already there. Allowing or forcing PSU to send them elsewhere only serves to make more people suffer. And hasn’t there been enough of that already??

    I applaud your efforts to think outside the box (i’m sure the administration @ PSU could use more of this) but I think your ideas are not feasible & will only serve to do more harm than good.

  30. kevpft says: Dec 28, 2011 4:19 PM

    @SDR, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one.

    I don’t think my ideas are overreaching. The program at PSU had become so fundamentally broken that fixing it will take more than just good people working on it to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Problems like what has happened don’t happen in a vacuum; I don’t think your idea that it has already been tidily dealt with is realistic.

    It’s a fundamental institutional issue of how things have been done and prioritized in the school as a whole. While those closest to the crimes are most guilty, the kind of walls built up around the crimes took sustained effort from the entire institution – the athletic department as a whole, and the university as a whole, spent decades ceding power to one man and one small group of men, practices that created a safe space for corruption and crime. That’s a much more complex issue than just removing a handful of people (and so far, it’s only been a handful of people) from their positions.

    Now, to clarify, I’m talking about the idea of shutting down the football program until this has been figured out. Not shutting down the whole university or even the whole athletic program. Football, everything under Paterno’s sphere of control, is the epicenter of this. Too much care cannot be taken in rebuilding it, and I don’t think it’s wise to repair this broken car while it’s still moving. It has to stop, and whoever’s in the car has to get where they’re going some other way.

    Easy for me to say, I know, but there has to be some kind of meaningful negative institutional effect from this, or it will happen again. People in positions of power in large institutions are motivated by money and maintaining mechanisms for making money. Without an impact on that, there’s no motive for behavior change by those who need to change behavior.

    Whether or not it’s a majority of the people currently there, it’s clear that a large number of current students and staff, not to mention alumni, still feverishly support Paterno. That is not what the rebuilding process needs – it’s the problem at the root of this whole issue. People who love the institution – its potential, not its iconic leader or its corrupted tradition – can contribute to its revival after it’s been fixed by disinterested parties with no allegiance to anything but decency.

  31. SDR says: Dec 28, 2011 5:26 PM

    kevpft -

    Yeah we’ll just have to agree to disagree. You wanna clean house w/the football program? Fine. I agree that there are a lot of changes needed internally to prevent something like this from ever happening again.

    I think that’s basically what they’re doing anyway. But you wanna bring in all new coaches and a new AD & even a new admin staff for the football program, go right ahead. Someone needs to be held accountable.

    But where I disagree is suspending the entire football program for even a whole season. For starters, the football program generates a ton of revenue for that school that doesn’t just go towards athletics. Echoing my earlier point, stripping that revenue could eventually cost people who have nothing to do w/the football program whatsoever their jobs & their livelihood. That just doesn’t seem fair to me.

    (It bears mentioning that Paterno & his wife also donated several million dollars to the library to make it one of the top college libraries in the country – something that couldn’t have happened w/o his success. It certainly doesn’t excuse any behavior but it’s important to remember he did a LOT of good for that school that had nothing to do with football).

    On a smaller point, I just think that the kids on the team stuck together and faced more adversity this year than maybe any college kid ever should. After everything that happened, forcing them to go their separate ways will only make those kids suffer more. As a result, I think they at least deserve a shot to rebuild together.

    To your other point about how one man can amass so much power – well sadly that’s the state of big time college athletics these days. Any major University’s head football coach has pretty much a fiefdom when it comes to his program. I wouldn’t begin to know how to regulate that but PSU is only one of probably 30-40 schools where thats the case. Maybe there needs to be stronger institutional oversight across the board. Maybe the NCAA should be more directly involved, especially at the D-I level (though good luck with that as the NCAA seems to be a horribly run, incredibly weak organization)

    I don’t know what the future holds, but I can only hope that some of the bigger schools are paying attention to what’s going on up in State College to ensure that something like this NEVER happens again. Whatever the end result, I wish PSU luck and hope it finds its way out of the mess w/strong, honest, and transparent leadership.

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