Penn State Interim Coach Tim Bradley: Any Shot at All at the Job?

Colby LanhamCorrespondent INovember 13, 2011

STATE COLLEGE, PA - NOVEMBER 12:  Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Tom Bradley addresses the media after the game against Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 12, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania.  Nebraska won 17-14. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Penn State, a once proud football program and long standing dynasty, is in shambles in the wake of a long hidden controversy involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, who was charged with sexual crimes towards young boys during and after his tenure at Penn State University.

And, as a result, for the first time in 46 years, the Penn State Nittany Lions took the field without Joe Paterno as their head coach, with an interim coach by the name of Tom Bradley called upon to rally the troops for the last three weeks of the season.

He has the monumental challenge of trying to salvage the tradition of Penn State football, a tradition that has become stained with the firing of legendary coach Joe Paterno and the horrid allegations of the victims that suffered at the hands of Sandusky.

As was expected when Joe Paterno would eventually part from the program, Penn State would immediately embark upon a national search for the post-Paterno era.

Despite their close 17-14 loss against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in Happy Valley, one must keep an eye on interim coach Tom Bradley, and wonder what kind of shot he has at a full time head coaching position.

Bradley has been a longtime coach at Penn State, overseeing the defensive backs, linebackers, defensive ends and special teams during his tenure at Penn State. Having coached at Penn State as a graduate assistant for 19 years before becoming the successor to Sandusky in 2000, Bradley has coached his share of Penn State defenses, and his coaching has produced very productive Penn State defenses.

It's also worth noting that Bradley reportedly interviewed for several head coaching positions, including at the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University and the University of Connecticut, but ultimately stayed on the Penn State staff.

Bradley has the credentials to keep the Penn State Nittany Lions on track. Due to his superb coaching as the Penn State defensive coordinator, he has a legitimate shot at the head coaching position should Penn State be unable to land a big name that can bring the program back on its feet after the loss of one of the most legendary coaches in college football history. 

However, Bradley, being a Sandusky product, will be a painful reminder of what Penn State lost this season, and it is simply because of this that Bradley will face an uphill battle to become the Nittany Lions' full time head coach.