If Penn State has taken anything from these last two years, it’s that things rarely work out as expected.
So it goes with the Nittany Lions latest coaching search. Al Golden, believed to be one of the leading candidates for the job, broke a long silence Sunday and announced he would be sticking with the Miami Hurricanes.
“There has been much speculation concerning my future at the University of Miami,” Golden said in a statement. “While I am flattered that our progress at The U during an extremely difficult period of time is recognized, I am also appreciative of just what we have here at UM and I am not a candidate for another position.
“We are eager to welcome our student athletes back to campus next week and visit with prospective student-athletes and their families beginning Jan. 15.”
Penn State’s search committee had traveled to Florida to meet with Golden on Saturday.
Golden’s pledge to the Hurricanes came after both the Penn State and Miami affiliates on the Rivals.com network had reported that a deal with Penn State and Golden was all but finalized.
With Golden out of the picture, who does Penn State turn to now?
Lions interim head coach Larry Johnson has already said he will apply for the job. Two other top candidates look to be Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and former Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak.
Both were reportedly scheduled to talk to Penn State on Sunday.
Franklin’s season just ended Saturday with a win in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Munchak was fired by the Titans Saturday after the Scranton native refused to dismiss a large chunk of his coaching staff in exchange for an extension for himself, according to an ESPN report.
For a closer look at all three candidates, check back to timesleader.com and see Monday’s edition of The Times Leader.