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.