With spring practice now just a month away, Bill O’Brien has his coaching staff back up to full capacity.
Penn State announced the hiring of Anthony Midget as its new safeties coach on Thursday, filling the vacancy created when defensive coordinator Ted Roof left the program in January.
“It's an honor to be a part of the Penn State family and this great university, Midget said in a statement. I am thankful to Coach O'Brien for the opportunity to come to Penn State and am excited to get to know the players and get ready for spring practice.”
John Butler coached the entire secondary in 2012 before being promoted to defensive coordinator last month. Butler will continue to work directly with the cornerbacks, an arrangement Penn State used for many years with former defensive coordinator Tom Bradley.
Midget, 34, had landed a new job just last month as a defensive assistant at Marshall before accepting the offer from Penn State. Before that, Midget worked for four years at a fledgling Georgia State program just getting off the ground and rose to defensive coordinator last season.
A three-year starter at cornerback for Virginia Tech, Midget played for the Hokies in the 1999 national title game and was a fifth-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons the following spring. He also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before starting his coaching career in the high school ranks in Florida.
By 2007 he was back at his alma mater, working under his old coach, Frank Beamer, as a graduate assistant. He was hired as an assistant at Georgia State the next year, helping get the program ready to compete at the FCS (formerly Div. I-AA) level.
When Roof left, Penn State also lost some of its recruiting ties to the South, as Roof was the lead man on landing players such as quarterback Steven Bench, defensive lineman Parker Cothren and defensive backs Neiko Robinson and Kasey Gaines in the past two signing classes.
With his time in Virginia and Georgia, Midget could help bolster recruiting there as well. Veteran assistants Stan Hixon and Mac McWhorter have also previously coached for years in the South while Larry Johnson and Charles London lead the effort in Virginia.
“Anthony will be a great addition to our staff,” O’Brien said in a statement. He is an experienced and passionate defensive coach and recruiter. We welcome Anthony to our team and look forward to his contributions to the program.