Linebacker coach Ron Vanderlinden and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher are no longer with the team, a source confirmed to Onward State. The reasons for the splits are not yet known.
The first report came this afternoon on Twitter from former Penn State student Macy Golder. Rumors swirled all day following that report but the information was finally confirmed by Mark Brennan from Fight on State and later the Centre County Report late Monday night. We were not comfortable passing on the information from our single source until a trusted Penn State source in Brennan confirmed the information.
Vanderlinden has coached at Penn State since 2001, when Joe Paterno hired the former Maryland head coach to manage the school’s linebackers. Vanderlinden held the role of linebackers coach during his entire tenure in Happy Valley and was appointed the team’s defensive coordinator in 2011 after Tom Bradley was named interim head coach.
Prior to coming to Penn State, Vanderlinden was a graduate assistant at Bowling Green and Michigan, the offensive line coach at Ball State, a defensive assistant at Colorado, the defensive coordinator at Maryland, and from 1997-2000, the head coach at Maryland, where he led the Terrapins to a 15-29 record. Along with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, Vanderlinden was one of two coaches to stay on Penn State’s staff after Bill O’Brien became head coach in 2012.
During his tenure, Vanderlinden coached some of the greatest linebackers at Penn State history, including Sean Lee, Paul Posluszny, and Michael Mauti. He was also a fantastic recruiter and helped bring in six of the team’s recruits for the upcoming class of 2014, including four star WR Chris Godwin and TE Mike Gesicki.
While Fisher hasn’t been around as long as Vanderlinden, he is still a crucial member of the Penn State coaching staff. He came to Happy Valley along with O’Brien and in his two years has coached Matt McGloin and Christian Hackenberg — two of the most prolific years for quarterbacks in Penn State history.
Fisher came to Penn State from Miami of Ohio, where he was the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for one of the country’s top passing offenses in 2011. Prior to that, he coached at several smaller schools and was the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Vanderbilt University from 2002-2010. He has was the lead recruiter for one commit in Penn State’s 2014 class, four star QB Michael O’Connor.
There is no word on who will replace either coach at this time, but Onward State wishes both of them the best in their future endeavors. We expect more information to come out this week from the athletic department on these moves.