December 7, 2010

Ron Vanderlinden reportedly looking at Ball State job (updated)

As if the speculation and punditry around and about Tom Bradley wasn't bad enough, we have here a real threat to be the first major defection from Joe Paterno's staff in years, via Steve Wiltfong at 247sports:
Update: Nick pointed out the extended report, that Joe Paterno had actually made a call to BSU in Vandy's favor.

While losing Vandy wouldn't be as disastrous as losing Scrap to Pitt, this would be just as big a hit as losing Larry Johnson, Sr. Vanderlinden has been one of the most productive position coaches Penn State's ever had, never mind one hell of a recruiter.

But let's not forget how close Johnson came in early 2009 to leaving for the open defensive coordinator position at Illinois. That was a scary moment just as was this one concerning Vandy, yet nothing came of it. We can only hope this fades into that same nothingness.

If I had to make a guess, there is a really good chance Vandy would take that job if the conditions were good. Ball State was his first coaching position (Off. Line coach, 1981-82), giving him ties to the university. In terms of head coaching experience, Vandy has not gotten nearly enough credit for what he did at Maryland from 1997-2000. When he was fired, replaced by Ralph Friedgen, it was Vandy's players that won more than 30 games from 2001-2003.

I hate to make the case for Vandy leaving Penn State, but it's one thing to be hopeful, and another to be realistic. I'm hopeful Vandy stays at Linebacker U, continues to churn out big-time players, for at least a little while longer. But I'm also realistic that if the BSU job is appealing enough, there's no way to blame him for going for it.

We'll see...

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  1. Here's the link to Sean Fitz's story

  2. Honestly, when/if Paterno ever retires where does it leave Vanderlinden? If they keep the current coaching staff it would probably be Bradley as head and L.J. Sr. as D-coordinator leaving Vandy where? If I were him, I'd take the money and run. He's left a legacy of some kick-ass linebackers, he doesn't have much more to prove.

  3. Galen -- That's exactly my thought. I have to believe that if Joe goes after next season (super likely if PSU gets 10+ wins), Scrap will get the job, Larry Johnson Sr. will be the DC, and there won't be a real place for Vandy. It's unforunate, but a reality, as you said.

    As long as PSU gets someone REALLY good to coach the LBs, I'll be fine with this possible outcome. Although, I really doubt there is a single linebacker coach in the world as good as Vandy.

    Of course, that all depends on whether or not Scrap takes the Pitt job, or if it's even offered to him.