Packers' assistant coach Perry interested in Penn State job

Was Steelers player, defensive backs coach

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Green Bay Packers safeties coach Darren Perry has expressed interest in becoming the new head coach at Penn State.

He was an All-American safety who played for the Nittany Lions from 1988-92.

"If approached by Penn State, this really would be the only college job that he would take a hard look at and really listen to," Perry's agent, Chris Turnage, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Perry, 42, has earned Super Bowl rings as a coach for the Packers (2010) and Steelers ('05) and he also was a starter for the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX in 1995.

He is in his 10th season as an NFL coach following a nine-year playing career. He spent seven seasons with the Steelers, who drafted him in the eighth round in 1992.

Perry, a Chesapeake, Va., native, has previously coached for three NFL teams -- the Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Oakland Raiders. He was a defensive backs coach for the Steelers from 2003-06 under Bill Cowher.

While at Penn State, Perry had 15 career interceptions and returned three for touchdowns. His daughter, Danielle, is a student at Penn State.

The university assembled a six-person search committee this week to help pick a new coach. The panel is led by acting athletic director Dave Joyner.

President Rodney Erickson said Wednesday night the criteria for selecting a new coach is "wide open." He said he has not yet met with the search committee, but hopes to have a new coach in place by the Nittany Lions' bowl game.

Interim coach Tom Bradley, who will be interviewed next week, will remain in charge of the program through the bowl game.

Other names being mentioned for the coaching position include Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, Boise State's Chris Petersen, TCU's Gary Patterson and Harvard's Tim Murphy.

Former coach Joe Paterno was fired Nov. 9 after 46 years amid the child sexual abuse scandal centered around criminal charges against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.


Ron Musselman: rmusselman@post-gazette.com and Twitter @rmusselmanppg.


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