Friday, February 17, 2012
Penn State finalizes staff with QBs coach
By Adam Rittenberg
New Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has finalized his staff with one of his most important hires.
O'Brien has tabbed Miami (Ohio) assistant Charlie Fisher to be Penn State's new quarterbacks coach. Although the team hasn't made an official announcement, O'Brien confirmed Fisher's hiring Friday to reporters.
"I've known him for a long time," O'Brien said. "[He's a] bright guy, sharp guy. He's had a lot of success and worked with some good quarterbacks. He worked with Jay Cutler at Vanderbilt and Zac Dysert last year. We're lucky to get him, and he'll start on Saturday."
Fisher spent just one season with Miami as the RedHawks' quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator. Miami ranked 14th nationally in pass offense (299.1 ypg) and 29th in pass efficiency (143.7 rating) last fall. Dysert ranked 14th nationally in total offense and 32nd in pass efficiency under Fisher's watch.
Fisher was one of few FBS assistants to coach two position groups. He spent the previous nine season at Vanderbilt, coaching wide receivers and running backs, and serving as the team's passing game coordinator. He also has served as Temple's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
O'Brien hired most of his staff weeks ago, and there were reports he would bring New England Patriots assistant George Godsey with him to State College to coach Penn State's quarterbacks. But Godsey is staying with the Pats.
Fisher has a major task ahead of him as he'll work with a quarterback group that has underperformed the past two seasons. Both Matthew McGloin and Rob Bolden boast starting experience but need to upgrade their play significantly for the 2012 season. Paul Jones, a promising player who hasn't been a factor because of academics, also is in the mix.
Penn State ranked 96th nationally in pass offense and 112th in pass efficiency this past season.
O'Brien won't have an offensive coordinator on his staff, and he'll be heavily involved with the team's offensive play calls this season. But Fisher also figures to have an important role in the team's offensive game plan, and the fact he has coordinator experience is key.
Penn State also on Friday announced Tim Bream as its new head athletic trainer for football. Bream spent the past 19 seasons in the Chicago Bears organization.
Here's Penn State's complete coaching staff for 2012:
- Bill O'Brien, head coach
- Stan Hixon, assistant head coach/wide receivers
- Ted Roof, defensive coordinator
- John Butler, secondary
- Charlie Fisher, quarterbacks
- Larry Johnson, defensive line
- Charles London, running backs
- Mac McWhorter , offensive line
- John Strollo, tight ends
- Ron Vanderlinden, linebackers