O'Brien completes his Penn State hires
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New Penn State coach Bill O'Brien completed his nine-man coaching staff, adding New England Patriots offensive assistant George Godsey as his quarterbacks coach.
Godsey, 33, was hired by the Patriots in February after spending the previous seven years at Central Florida. He was the running backs coach in 2009 and '10 and the quarterbacks coach from '05-08 after originally joining the staff as a graduate assistant in '04.
O'Brien's other hires are wide receivers coach and assistant head coach Stan Hixon (Buffalo Bills), defensive coordinator Ted Roof (Central Florida), offensive line coach Mac McWhorter (Texas), tight ends coach John Strollo (Ball State), special teams coach and defensive backs John Butler (South Carolina) and runnings back coach Charles London (Tennessee Titans). O'Brien also retained defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden from former coach Joe Paterno 's staff.
New head coach Paul Chryst hired Eddie Faulkner (Northern Illinois) to coach running backs and Matt House (St. Louis Rams) to coach the secondary, leaving him with two more spots to fill on his nine-man staff.
Chryst is expected to add San Francisco 49ers offensive assistant Bobby Engram to his staff as the receivers coach as soon as the 49ers are eliminated from the playoffs. Engram was a three-time All-Big Ten selection at Penn State and played in the NFL for the Bears, Seahawks, Chiefs and Browns.
Chryst's other hires are Bob Bostad , offensive coordinator/offensive line; Dave Huxtable , defensive coordinator; Joe Rudolph , assistant head coach/quarterbacks; Chris Haering , linebackers; and Jim Hueber , tight ends.
Also, linebacker Brandon Lindsey will play in the 87th East-West Shrine Game on Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Dana Holgorsen 's search to replace his defensive staff at West Virginia turned up an interesting name: Oklahoma's Brent Venables . The Tulsa World reported that sources confirmed Venables had been offered the defensive coordinator job at West Virginia but the Sooners were "fighting hard to keep him." Joe DeForest resigned from the Oklahoma State staff a day earlier to join Holgorsen and was awaiting his exact title and role.
Mike Stoops is rejoining his brother, Bob , hoping to rekindle the program's defensive dominance of a decade ago. Mike Stoops was the co-defensive coordinator for Oklahoma from 1999-2004 and helped the Sooners win the 2000 national championship before spending the past seven-plus seasons at Arizona. He was fired at Arizona, and his return to the Sooners throws into question the future of defensive backs coach Willie Martinez and possibly current defensive coordinator Brent Venables .
Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele left the team after three seasons to pursue other coaching opportunities. Steele and the defense had come under heavy criticism after allowing a bowl-record 70 points in their embarrassing loss to West Virginia in the Orange Bowl.
LSU All-American cornerback Morris Claiborne has decided to leave school early to enter the NFL draft, along with defensive tackle Michael Brockers. ... Florida running back Jeff Demps is giving up his football career to focus on track and the 2012 Olympics. ... Alabama All-Americans Trent Richardson, Dont'a Hightower and Dre Kirkpatrick have declared for the NFL draft. Richardson and Kirkpatrick are projected as potential top-10 picks; Hightower is regarded as a potential first-rounder. ... Tony Reno, 37, who served as an assistant for Harvard for the past three seasons, was hired as the new coach at Yale . ... Chad Glasgow has returned to TCU as safeties coach after one season as defensive coordinator at Texas Tech .
First Published January 13, 2012 12:00 am