Monday, January 9, 2012
Ted Roof to PSU as new staff takes shape
By Adam Rittenberg
Bill O'Brien wasn't lying when he said his coaching staff would be assembled in a hurry.
Penn State's new coach has quickly hired a group of assistants to help him during the transition.
Ted Roof comes aboard as the Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, Roof confirmed to ESPN.com in a text message Monday night. He joins a defensive staff that includes two holdovers from the previous regime, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden.
Roof spent the past two seasons as Auburn's defensive coordinator, although he left last month for the same post at Central Florida. He and O'Brien worked together at Duke from 2005-06, Roof as the Blue Devils' head coach and O'Brien as the team's offensive coordinator. The two also worked together at Georgia Tech from 1998-2001. Although Roof's name is eliciting mixed reactions from Penn State fans, he did a nice job in his last Big Ten stint with Minnesota's defense in 2008.
Penn State's hasn't officially announced any of O'Brien's assistants, but three other coaches reportedly will join the staff. They are: Buffalo Bills wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, former Texas offensive line coach Mac McWhorter and Ball State offensive line coach John Strollo. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports McWhorter will coach offensive line at Penn State and Strollo will coach tight ends.
Tennessee Titans assistant Charles London has confirmed he'll coach running backs at Penn State.
There's also buzz that former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who had O'Brien on his staff, could be coming to Penn State as offensive coordinator. Don't bet on this, though, as O'Brien plans to call the offensive plays in Year 1.
So while nothing is official, here's how O'Brien's staff could look in 2012:
Defensive coordinator: Ted Roof
Defensive line: Larry Johnson
Linebackers: Ron Vanderlinden
Running backs: Charles London
Offensive line: Mac McWhorter
Wide receivers: Stan Hixon
Tight ends: John Strollo
O'Brien told ESPN.com on Sunday that at least seven assistants will be in place by Wednesday. He's working quickly as he needs his assistants on the road recruiting while he's fulfilling his responsibilities with the New England Patriots.
Thoughts on the potential staff?