PSU Notebook: Titans' Munchak not interested in coaching job
DALLAS -- Penn State's search for a new football coach was dealt a setback Wednesday.
Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak , a Scranton native who was the top pick of the search committee put in charge of hiring a successor for former coach Joe Paterno , said he is not interested in becoming the next head coach at his alma mater.
"I have a great deal of respect for Penn State and I hope they find a great coach there, but I am happy where I'm at," Munchak told The Tennessean of Nashville.
"I love my alma mater, but I have no interest in being the head coach at Penn State. I never want to leave Tennessee."
Munchak, 51, is a former Penn State offensive lineman and Pro Football Hall of Famer who has spent his entire professional career, as a player and coach, with the Titans/Houston Oilers franchise since leaving Penn State after the 1981 season.
Paterno was fired 51 days ago in the wake of the child sexual abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky .
Interim coach Tom Bradley is considered a long shot for the job, and Monday's TicketCity Bowl matchup against Houston is expected to be the final game of his 33-year coaching career at Penn State.
"I'm going to coach until they tell me I'm no longer needed," Bradley said Wednesday. "Same with the guys on the staff. They're working hard. There's no one that's looking at different things, or talking about it. We're focused on the game."
Penn State will be playing its fourth game in Cotton Bowl Stadium, which opened in 1929 but had an extensive renovation in 2008.
Bowl organizers are hoping to sell at least 50,000 tickets for the game Monday in a stadium that seats more than 92,000.
"It's a historic place," said senior cornerback D'Anton Lynn , who grew up a half hour away in Celina, Texas. "I went there to watch Texas Tech play Alabama [in the 2006 Cotton Bowl Classic], but I have never played there.
"I'm looking forward to it."
The Nittany Lions are 2-0-1 in games played at the Cotton Bowl, and beat Baylor, 41-20, in their most recent appearance in 1975.
Penn State also defeated Texas, 30-6, in the '72 Cotton Bowl and tied Doak Walker's SMU team, 13-13, in '48. That year, the Nittany Lions almost didn't come to Dallas because they were racially segregated. Penn State eventually accepted an invitation, but it was forced to stay at a Naval Air Station 14 miles outside of town because of segregated hotels.
Senior defensive end Jack Crawford said he has been invited to the Jan. 28 Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
Other invitees include Lynn and two fifth-year seniors -- defensive tackle Devon Still and left guard Johnnie Troutman .
First Published December 29, 2011 12:00 am