STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The last game Urban Meyer coached for Florida was against Penn State and Joe Paterno.
Now it’s possible Meyer could be the man to replace Paterno, the winningest coach in Division I history, whose 46-season run with the Nittany Lions is ending because of a child sex abuse scandal involving a former assistant coach.
Paterno announced Wednesday that he will retire at the end of the season, though the board of trustees could cut that short.
This is certain: Penn State is going to hire a football coach for the first time since 1966 and one of the most successful of the last decade is available.
Even before former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with molesting eight boys over 15 years, there had been talk that Penn State officials had reached out to Meyer about eventually replacing Paterno.
Meyer, though, has given no indication that he’s ready to return to coaching — anywhere. The Ohio State job could also come open at the end of the season, and Meyer is an Ohio native. Some Buckeyes fans have already started counting the days until Meyer takes over in Columbus.
“I’m not worrying about down the road,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview last week. “I do miss it. I miss a lot of things about it, but I’m also am really enjoying another part, that’s I get to watch my kids play sports.”
But that won’t stop the speculation and Meyer’s name will be far from the only one to come up.
Expect Miami coach Al Golden, a former Penn State player, to be mentioned, as well as Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, who spent six seasons on Paterno’s staff in the 1990s.
Though having ties to the old staff might not be a good thing anymore.
(Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.)