It takes a strong person to jump into an interim head coaching role, with the future almost always uncertain. Former defensive coordinator Tom Bradley did it for Penn State two years ago, and defensive line coach Larry Johnson is doing it now.
While Bradley’s tenure lasted a couple months, Johnson’s could be over in a matter of days, but he’s going to make the most of it while he can. Johnson will address the media today face-to-face for the first time as interim coach today at 1:30 p.m. via conference call and at 2:00 p.m. at Lasch. In the meantime, Penn State put out this fantastic video featuring the interim coach discussing the next chapter of Penn State football.
“There’s another chapter that starts today and I’m looking forward to being a part of that,” Johnson said. “I’m really focused on our players. That’s my concern — about how we can bridge the gap to the next head coach. My job today is to be excited about our players.”
Johnson, who has been with Penn State for 19 years, is the last coaching holdover from Joe Paterno’s tenure. We reported yesterday that Johnson will throw his own name into the mix for the head coaching position, and he already has significant support from the lettermen. Whether he gets serious consideration for the job or not, the next head coach would be smart to keep Johnson around. The current players and recruits love him, and he would be a ubiquitously respected point of stability as Penn State moves forward.
“I think our players are excited to get going again and start moving forward to the 2014 season,” Johnson said. “I think this is a great time for Penn State football and I’m looking forward to being a part of that in any way I can. I’m very blessed and very fortunate to have the opportunity to do this at a place I love and care a lot about.”