NCF Nation: Tim Murphy

More names surfacing in PSU search

December, 6, 2011
Penn State's coaching search has been fairly quiet to this point, but names of potential candidates are beginning to surface in published reports.

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements is the latest to express interest, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Those who follow NFL coach searches probably know Clements' name, as he has been in the mix for several head-coaching positions. He also was mentioned as a candidate at Notre Dame, where he played quarterback.

Clements hails from McKees Rocks, Pa. He has tutored Packers star quarterback Aaron Rodgers and certainly would bring credibility to a Penn State program that has struggled to develop NFL signal callers in recent years.

The Tribune-Review also reports that current Nittany Lions quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno interviewed for the head-coaching job last week, and that acting head coach Tom Bradley, the team's defensive coordinator since 2000, will interview with the search committee this week. No surprises there. While Penn State will be pressured to hire a candidate from the outside, the committee has said it won't exclude current assistants from the process.

Clements is the second Packers assistant coach to reportedly express interest in the Penn State job. The agent for Packers safeties coach Darren Perry, a former All-American at Penn State, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that Perry would "take a hard look" at returning to his alma mater if approached.

The two names mentioned most throughout the process have been Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen and Harvard coach Tim Murphy. ESPN reported last week that Mullen is one of Penn State's top targets, while there is mutual interest between Penn State and Murphy.

Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy denied having interest in the Penn State job (no surprise), and Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak, a Penn State product, also isn't likely to leave his post.

The (Allentown) Morning Call is reporting that Boise State's Chris Petersen and Murphy are on Penn State's radar. Petersen's name is mentioned for almost every major-conference opening, and while Penn State offers him some advantages Boise State doesn't, it would be a surprise to see him make the move. Other than a one-year stint as Pitt's quarterbacks coach in 1992, he has spent his entire career on the West Coast and hails from Yuba City, Calif.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen on Friday once again denied having any contact with Penn State about its head-coaching vacancy.

Mullen released the following statement through Mississippi State:
"Neither I, my agent nor the administration at Mississippi State University have been contacted by anybody at Penn State University. I'm very happy with the direction the Mississippi State program is headed right now."

Colleague Joe Schad has reported Mullen is at the top of Penn State's wish list for its vacancy. Mullen's latest denial comes following talk that he would be interviewing with Penn State next week. He declined to comment Tuesday when asked about speculation he was in the mix for the Penn State job.

Harvard coach Tim Murphy is another candidate on Penn State's radar, but Mullen's name is the one that continues to come up.
1. The third annual coaches tour to visit U.S. military personnel in the Middle East begins Friday. Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville, who has been on each visit, will be joined by Chip Kelly of Oregon, Ron Zook of Illinois, Tim Murphy of Harvard and the coach who will outshine each of them in Iran, Afghanistan, and every other stop, Rich Ellerson of Army. Just imagine the reception he’ll get. The trip is a godsend to the men and women over there. Here’s to safe travels.

2. I didn’t catch up to the Mike Leach cameo on last week’s Friday Night Lights until Wednesday (Thank you, DVR). But there’s a different meaning in the former Texas Tech head coach’s words than when he recited them to Coach Taylor last fall: “…A lot of times things just happen for a reason. We don’t know why God wants us that way. But you can’t make the best of it until you get back your inner pirate. You might be the luckiest man alive and not even know it.”

3. Phil Steele released his 2010 preseason All-American team Wednesday, and the most surprising member of the first team is Oklahoma running back DeMarco Murray. Not because Murray lacks talent. He has been considered a can’t-miss prospect since he arrived in Norman from Las Vegas. But what Murray has missed is a lot of playing time because of injuries. Maybe he’s unlucky and this is his year. Or maybe he’s just injury-prone.