Penn State Football: 5 Legit Successors to Joe Paterno
Believe it or not, there will come a time when Joe Paterno is no longer the head football coach at Penn State University.
Judging by this season (the less than stellar start, the quarterback mess, the health issues) that day could come sooner rather than later.
In light of the possibility, here are five very real JoePa replacement candidates.
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Penn State's defensive coordinator is the safe choice.
He has a familiarity with the program, a recruiting track record in Happy Valley and, let's face it, replacing a legend is never easy.
Fair or not, Bradley could serve as a placeholder for a season or two so Penn State can lure a big name coach who will by then be spared as the "guy who forced out JoePa."
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Pat Fitzgerald is an excellent football coach, and he has been on the fringe of discussions for every opening since he took over the Wildcats.
He is a "Northwestern Man," and it would take the perfect opportunity to get him to leave Evanston.
Staying in the Big Ten to coach one of the conference's premier programs could be the job he jumps at.
Wisconsin's offensive coordinator has been mentioned for a bevy of jobs over the past couple of years, and rightfully so.
He is a brilliant offensive mind who is bound to leave the coordinator's booth for the sideline at some point.
Chryst has turned down a number of opportunities in the past, but like with Fitzgerald, the chance to be the head man at one of the Big Ten's best could be too good to pass up.
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Schiano isn't the big name that he once was, but he does have Penn State ties and the overall job he's done at Rutgers cannot be discounted.
He made the Scarlet Knights relevant, has a 4-1 record in bowl games and knows how to recruit in the Northeast.
He wouldn't be a sexy hire, but he's still young at 45 years old and he can still coach.
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Given the hornets nest that Miami football became right after Golden settled in at Coral Gables, a move back Northeast for the former Temple coach isn't all that far-fetched.
Although Golden has publicly stated that he will stick with the 'Canes during their time of need, a return home to Penn State is a definite possibility.
If the guy can suffer through the heat and humidity of south Florida in a tie to pay homage to his former coach, wouldn't he jump at the chance to follow in his foot steps?