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Larry Johnson Named Penn State Football’s Interim Head Coach

One of Penn State’s most beloved football coaches has received a temporary promotion.

Longtime defensive line coach Larry Johnson has reportedly be named the team’s interim head coach, according to PennLive’s Bob Flounders.

Getting a promotion during a turbulent time for the football team isn’t anything new for Johnson — when Tom Bradley took over head coaching duties in November of 2011, Johnson, along with former linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden, was promoted to assistant defensive coordinator.

Johnson has been at the university since 1996, and has constantly churned out stars along the team’s defensive line, like Courtney Brown, Devon Still, and most recently, DaQuan Jones, among countless others. He has also been a masterful recruiter, and was the lead recruiter for a bevy of Nittany Lion stars, like NaVorro Bowman, Jared Odrick, Aaron Maybin, Zach Zwinak, and Adam Breneman. Johnson was the lead recruiter for seven commits in the class of 2014, including the gem of the class, Brooklyn four-star defensive tackle Thomas Holley.

PennLive reports that Johnson’s main responsibility will be keeping the current recruiting class, which currently sits at 19 players, committed to the school until National Signing Day on February 5. The exception is defensive end Tarow Barney, who has already signed his letter of intent and is preparing to enroll at the university in January.

Johnson’s ties to the school, recruiting prowess, and the fact that he is universally loved by fans make him the perfect choice to lead Penn State while the school looks for its new coach. There’s no word on how long Johnson will need to be at the helm, but multiple outlets are reporting that the coaching search will be relatively quick.

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