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Munchak to interview at Penn State

Munchak AP

It’s been a strange couple of days for Mike Munchak.

After spending more than eight hours on Friday meeting with Titans CEO Tommy Smith and G.M. Ruston Webster in Houston, the Tennessean reported Munchak would be back for a fourth season.

The team quickly responded, pointing out that no decisions had been made.  The next day, the decision was made to fire Munchak.

Now, Munchak will interview on Sunday for the head-coaching vacancy at Penn State, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.

The powers-that-be in Happy Valley have said that they hope to replace Bill O’Brien, the new coach of the Houston Texans, within a matter of days, not weeks.  The quick move to bring in Munchak suggests that the Penn State alum who spent 32 years with the Titans/Oilers as a player and coach has the inside track to the job.

Munchak reportedly was the first choice to succeed Joe Paterno for the 2012 season, and Munchak reportedly was “torn” regarding the opportunity to return to his college roots after three decades with the same NFL organization.  According to Mortensen, Munchak turned down a “hefty raise” and an extension in Tennessee; presumably, he would have gotten those only if he’d fired multiple members of his coaching staff.

While it appears that Munchak took a stand based on principle, it’s easier to do that when the fallback is a job that Munchak apparently considered leaving the Titans to take two years ago.

Munchak deserved another chance in Tennessee.  But this could be his best and last chance to return to Penn State.

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7 Responses to “Munchak to interview at Penn State”
  1. tolan04 says: Jan 5, 2014 11:55 AM

    Titans will regret this one

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 5, 2014 12:22 PM

    I think the lesson is they realized earlier rather than later that they regret this one. When they hired Munchak in the first place it sounds like it really wasn’t that great of a fit. He didn’t win, and now it was going to cost some more money and a slew of firings to get into a less than ideal situation for the next year. Maybe things could have worked out differently, but they didn’t and the timing of starting and ending his HC career here just wasn’t the right fit or meant to be. Munchak realized all of this himself, and that’s why he stuck to his principles to just make the separation easier on everyone.

  3. eatitfanboy says: Jan 5, 2014 12:45 PM

    I don’t get it.

    Hasn’t spent 5 seconds as a college coach, has never recruited a player, was a position coach for all but three years of his career, has an extremely mediocre record as a head coach.

    The only thing he has going for him that I can see is that he is a Penn State grad. If anything, this shows you how determined the Paterno loyalists amongst the administration and the boosters are to bring a “Penn State Man” to lead the program, and it apparently doesn’t matter if he is actually qualified for the job.

  4. rholstein says: Jan 5, 2014 1:30 PM

    If he wants the job, he must agree to not fire Larry Johnson who is one of the best recruiters in football. As for qualifications, Andy Reid was never a coordinator and did well in Philly and KC, so it isn’t always about “checking the boxes”, although NFL Hall of Fame is a pretty good “box” to check.

  5. pastabelly says: Jan 5, 2014 1:37 PM

    The Paterno loyalists will make this happen and Billy O’Brien was correct that the Paterno people are nuts.

  6. fdugrad says: Jan 5, 2014 1:45 PM

    I hope he gets the hc position. I wish him the best moving ahead. I admire a man who refuses to fire his staff to save his job. If I had a son, coach M. is the kind of person I would want my boy to be around.

  7. jacobslatter says: Jan 5, 2014 2:02 PM

    An EIGHT hour meeting sounds extremely inefficient in conducting any sort of business. Fat cats wanting to make themselves feel important yet accomplishing next to nothing when they could have texted/phoned/faxed Munchak’s reps about his certain firing.

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