Penn State Football: Nittany Lions May Be Targeting Eric Mangini to Fill Vacancy

T.J. McaloonContributorDecember 29, 2011

CLEVELAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Head coach Eric Mangini of the Cleveland Browns leaves the field after their game against the New England Patriots at Cleveland Browns Stadium on November 7, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Penn State is in need of a new head football coach to take over for the hole that was left when Joe Paterno was fired during this season. It looks like Penn State wants former NFL head coach, and current ESPN television analyst to become their next head football coach. 

According to Pro Football Talk: 

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Mangini has not been contacted directly, but that interest does indeed exist.  It’s unknown whether Mangini, who currently works for ESPN, has any interest in the job.

This news comes after Penn State was told, “Thanks but no thanks” by Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak, and retired NFL head coach Tony Dungy. 

From My Fox

Fox 29 contributor Mike Missanelli from 97.5 The Phanatic said on Wednesday that Mangini, who coached the Jets and Browns, is the newest name to pop up in the long search for a Paterno successor.

“I know they are very interested on [Mangini] the former NFL coach who has been fired twice in the NFL,” says Missanelli, who has reported on Penn State for years.

“He’s the latest flavor of the month. They will not be able to get a big name given to sustain what is going on.”

Now, with the alleged interest for Mangini, it seems like Penn State is going after big-name coaches that have had experience in the NFL. Mangini does bring with him a nice resume, having been a head coach for five years in the NFL. 

However, he brings zero experience at coaching in the college ranks.. 

It’s one thing to offer a current-or-former NFL head coach a coaching job in college, but you would have to think that having some experience at the college football level would play into Penn State’s thought process, right? 

Penn State is going to have a tough time finding a new head coach that wants to replace an icon in Joe Paterno. Plus, with the situation that the program is in after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, it’s almost like whomever is hired as the new head coach is coming into a lose-lose situation. 

If they are seriously considering Mangini for the position, they need to stop right now. It will end badly for both the head coach, and for the University. 

What Penn State should do is either keep Interim head coach Tom Bradley in charge, or higher a college coach from a smaller school. 

At least those two options have a coach that has experience in coaching at the college level. Instead of throwing themselves at coaches that have NFL experience and a big name behind them.