PSU consultant, former NFL head coach headed to the Bengals
January 16, 2016 12:00 AM
Nick Wass/Associated Press
Then-Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, left, talks with defensive end Jason Hatcher during NFL football minicamp, Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in Ashburn, Va.
By Audrey Snyder / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Penn State coach James Franklin insisted it was the best deal around, getting to pick the brain of former NFL head coach Jim Haslett while Haslett, who wanted to stay involved in football after being let go as the Washington Redskins defensive coordinator, came at the right price.
“I know there were a bunch of conspiracy theories going around about what his actual role was, why I really hired him,” Franklin said in July. “We had a guy who has been coaching for 30 years, been a head coach, been a coordinator and we basically can get this guy for free and now I can bounce ideas off him.”
Haslett’s father-in-law lived in State College, Pa., his son was a senior quarterback at IUP and with the coach wanting to take a year away from the grind of the profession so he could see his son play, Haslett’s role as a Penn State football consultant was the perfect storm. Haslett, a former New Orleans Saints head coach and Steelers defensive coordinator, took a job to coach the Cincinnati Bengals linebackers, Marvin Lewis announced Friday.
“Jim is just a very outstanding and thorough football coach," Lewis said in a release. "He has a tremendous background, including both as a head coach and a coordinator. It’s a wealth of expertise and ideas that he’s going to bring to a position group that has to be successful for us to succeed as a team.”
Haslett arrived at Penn State in the summer and per NCAA rules he was allowed to sit in on meetings with the coaching staff, observe practices, but not allowed to do any actual coaching or recruiting. Penn State coach Brent Pry, who was promoted to defensive coordinator this week, was coached by Haslett at the University of Buffalo.
Matt Caponi of Baldwin is leaving Arizona as safeties coach and joining West Virginia in the same role, Mountaineers head coach Dana Holgorsen. Caponi spent four seasons with the Wildcats. He was with current WVU defensive coordinator Tony Gibson on the defensive staff at Pitt in 2011 and with Arizona in 2012.
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