Part of the collateral effect for any head coaching turnover is that most of the assistant coaches will need to change jobs, too. Such was the reality today, as six Penn State assistant coaches submitted their official resignations to the university.
Only interim head coach Larry Johnson, offensive line coach Mac McWhorter, defensive coordinator John Butler, and tight ends coach John Strollo still remain as leftovers from the O’Brien staff. Running backs coach Charles London, wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, safeties coach Anthony Midget, strength coach Craig Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald’s assistants Sean Hayes and Dwight Galt IV all submitted their resignations to the university today.
There’s no guarantee, of course, that the four remaining coaches will be retained on staff after a new coach is hired. But for now, they’re staying put.
Update: Multiple reports published shortly after the first wave indicate that John Butler is also planning to or has already resigned.
Here’s a quick rundown of where O’Brien’s assistants are likely to end up with a new coach expected to be hired this week.
Larry Johnson: Johnson is keeping the team together for now and is going to interview for the head coaching job. If he doesn’t get the job, the next coach would be smart to keep LJ on staff (if he’s willing), as he is ubiquitously loved by the current team and recruits.
Butler is still on staff for now but it’s hard to imagine the next coach will retain him. Fight On State is reporting now that Butler will join O’Brien in Houston.
Stan Hixon: Hixon has already announced that he’ll join O’Brien in Houston.
Charles London: London is expected to join O’Brien in Houston but nothing is official yet.
Mac McWhorter: McWhorter has said that Penn State would be his last stop. It’s easy to see the veteran coach retiring at this point.
John Strollo: No one is sure about Strollo’s future, but he’s still on staff for now.
Anthony Midget: Midget is expected to join O’Brien in Houston.
Craig Fitzgerald: Fitz confirmed to Fight on State that he’ll join O’Brien in Houston. This is a big loss for Penn State, as Fitzgerald revolutionized the S&C program at Penn State and made big changes in the weight room. Here’s hoping the “IRON LION” mantra remains at Penn State long after he’s gone.
Jimmy Bernhardt: O’Brien’s longtime friend is expected to join him in Houston.