Another Paterno is shown the door
February 18. 2013 4:59PM
Understandably, Jay Paterno had strong reservations about finishing out the season as quarterbacks coach at Penn State after his father was fired by the school in November. But Joe Paterno helped convince him to stay aboard for the rest of the campaign.
Now it‚??s time to say goodbye.
Jay Paterno confirmed Tuesday he will not be brought back as a member of the Nittany Lions coaching staff.
‚??After talking with Coach Bill O‚??Brien, we have reached the conclusion that I will not be a part of the Penn State football staff moving forward,‚?Ě Jay Paterno said in a statement.
‚??I will spend the next few weeks consulting with my wife and family to weigh various future options both inside and outside of football.‚?Ě
Though the move was an expected one, his departure marks the first time a Paterno will not be on staff at Penn State since early 1950.
Joe Paterno came to State College that year and took over as head coach in 1966, manning the position until Nov. 9, 2011.
Jay Paterno joined his father‚??s staff in 1995, serving as tight ends coach for five seasons before being named quarterbacks coach in 2000.
He was often the target of sharp criticism during his tenure as the Lions struggled to develop quarterbacks.
Michael Robinson was the only quarterback under Jay‚??s tutelage to be drafted into the NFL, and he was converted to running back.
Jay did, however, have a hand in bringing Penn State back to national relevance as he and offensive coordinator Galen Hall had split playcalling duties since the 2004 season.
In 2005 with Robinson under center, the Lions transformed into one of the nation‚??s top offenses, finishing the season No. 3 in the polls.
With another mobile quarterback, the lightly recruited Daryll Clark, Penn State won 22 games in 2008 and 2009, just missing playing for the national title in 2008.
Quick with a joke, Jay often acknowledged the scorn he would hear from fans, doing so one last time following his final game at Penn State.
‚??It does cross your mind when you walk off the field the last time that it may be the last time you coach at Penn State,‚?Ě Jay said following a 30-14 loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2. ‚??It may not. I‚??m sure there‚??s some people that hope it the last time that I walk off the field as a Penn State coach. Who knows?‚?Ě
Jay said he had put aside his early misgivings and was interested in staying aboard on the new staff. He had also interviewed for the head coaching job.
In confirming his exit on Tuesday, Jay thanked his former players as well as the fans.
‚??I thank the student-athletes that I‚??ve been privileged to coach over the past two decades at four schools,‚?Ě he said. ‚??Hopefully my career has had an impact and helped you learn about life, and about the commitment and passion it takes to pursue personal excellence.
‚??As for Penn Staters, I cannot even begin to express what your support has meant to me and my family over the past seventeen seasons and in particular the past two months. Through the tumult of the past several weeks, it has been your stalwart support combined with life lessons learned from Joe Paterno that has and continues to sustain us.‚?Ě
With O‚??Brien rounding out his new staff, the writing was on the wall for Jay and many other long-time assistant coaches.
O‚??Brien reportedly has agreements with seven coaches for his nine-man staff.
Holdovers Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden are set to join newcomers Stan Hixon, Charles London, Mac McWhorter, Ted Roof and John Strollo.
Along with Jay Paterno, safeties coach Kermit Buggs has also confirmed he will not be brought back. Recruits have said tackles/tight ends coach Bill Kenney has told them he also will not be retained.
The rest of the former staff ‚?? including Tom Bradley, who served as interim coach after Joe Paterno‚??s firing ‚?? is not expected to return.