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Saturday, December 31, 2011
Source: Mike Munchak's 'heart is torn'

By Joe Schad
ESPN

Penn State has not given up hope it can lure Mike Munchak for its coaching vacancy, a persistence grounded in the belief the Titans coach may listen to the Nittany Lions after all, sources said Saturday.

Munchak has repeatedly stated he would remain at Tennessee, but a source close to him said Munchak is struggling with the concept that he can "fix and make right" his alma mater.

Munchak
Munchak

"He loves his school and his heart is torn," the source said Saturday. "He really fits what they want and need to a tee."

The source said Munchak's situation should be resolved within a week. The Titans end their season Sunday against the Texans in Houston.

Two sources said Saturday New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is a candidate if Munchak does not reconsider. O'Brien is the offensive play-caller for Tom Brady.

Another source said Penn State also would remain interested in Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, a former Penn State assistant, though it is unclear if Schiano would reciprocate the interest.

Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements will be interviewed this week in person, and interim coach Tom Bradley will get a second interview, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Saturday, citing anonymous sources.

On Wednesday, Munchak said he was flattered to be mentioned for the Nittany Lions' opening, but he was not leaving the Titans, insisting he loves what he's doing in Tennessee. It was the third time since Hall of Famer Joe Paterno was fired in early November that Munchak has denied interest in the opening.

"You all know Penn State means a lot to me," Munchak said. "I obviously went to school there and I'm real concerned for what they've gone through the last couple of months.

"They have not contacted me in any way or talked to me about the possibility of working there. I have not reached out to them. I have a job that I enjoy quite a bit."

The Post-Gazette reported Tuesday that Munchak had been targeted by a Penn State search panel and was its top choice.

Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.