NCF Nation: George Godsey

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
Penn State made it official Thursday and announced the hires of six assistant coaches on Bill O'Brien's staff.

All of these names have been previously reported, but here they are again:
  • Larry Johnson, defensive line
  • Ron Vanderlinden, linebackers
  • Stan Hixon, assistant head coach/wide receivers
  • Charles London, running backs
  • Mac McWhorter, offensive line
  • John Strollo, tight ends

O'Brien has three more positions to fill: defensive coordinator, secondary coach and quarterbacks coach. Central Florida defensive coordinator Ted Roof confirmed in a text message to ESPN.com on Monday that he's taking the Penn State defensive coordinator spot. South Carolina assistant John Butler reportedly is heading to State College, likely to take the secondary coach spot.

New England Patriots offensive assistant George Godsey reportedly will take the quarterbacks coach role. Godsey worked directly with O'Brien in New England during the 2011 season and played for O'Brien at Georgia Tech.

O'Brien definitely went with familiarity in his hires, as he worked alongside London, McWhorter, Strollo and Roof as an assistant at Georgia Tech and/or Duke. There's also a decent mix of college and NFL experience, as O'Brien promised.

It's definitely a veteran staff, as London, Godsey and Butler are the only assistants who logged some playing time in the recent past.

I like the retention of both Johnson and Vanderlinden, who are great at what they do. Roof's appointment has sparked some angst among Penn State fans, but he did good work at Minnesota and will have good position coaches working under him.

It'll be interesting to see how things go with O'Brien as the offensive play-caller, at least for Year 1. A lot of folks will make the Charlie Weis comparisons, which are a little unfair. It's important to point out that while Weis ultimately failed at Notre Dame, his offenses certainly didn't in 2005 and 2006. My preference is defensive-minded coaches who delegate play-calling to their coordinators, but there are offense-minded coaches who call their own plays and have success (i.e. Bobby Petrino).
"I said last weekend we were going to put together the best staff for Penn State and I firmly believe we have done that," O'Brien said in a prepared statement. "It was crucial to get an experienced, passionate and enthusiastic staff together quickly so they can hit the ground running. All of these coaches have varied and successful backgrounds coaching in the NFL, college and high school across the country. They have developed extensive relationships with coaches that will be vital in our recruiting efforts. They are excited to meet our current players, get on the road and become part of the Penn State football family."

What are your thoughts on the staff?

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