Reports: Assistants may join O'Brien

Updated: January 6, 2014, 9:29 PM ET
By Josh Moyer | ESPN.com

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Eight coaches with ties to the Penn State program have left in the wake of Bill O'Brien's departure for the NFL's Houston Texans, a university spokesman confirmed Monday.

Only three coaches, including interim head coach Larry Johnson, remain on the Nittany Lions' staff.

Assistant coaches John Butler, Stan Hixon, Charles London and Anthony Midget have submitted their resignations, effective Monday, as did Jim Bernhardt, special assistant to the head coach.

Strength coach Craig Fitzgerald also resigned, as did his assistants, Dwight Galt IV and Sean Hayes.

At least six of those who resigned are heading to the Texans, sources told ESPN.com's Tania Ganguli. The only two that could not be confirmed were Galt and Hayes.

The eight coaches' names were taken off Penn State's online list Monday afternoon, and a spokesman confirmed soon afterward that they were no longer with the program. 

O'Brien opted to clean house in Houston as he fired all but one position coach and coordinator. He retained only defensive line coach Bill Kollar, while many of the meetings with former Texans staff lasted less than 5 minutes.

Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner said Thursday that a new head football coach could be announced "in a matter of days rather than weeks." Reported candidates for the position included Miami (Fla.) coach Al Golden, former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak and Vanderbilt's James Franklin. Interim head coach Larry Johnson also hoped to be considered.

ESPN.com Texans writer Tania Ganguli contributed to this report.

Josh Moyer | email

Penn State/Big Ten reporter

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