Joe Paterno has said several times this year that he hopes to coach Penn State football for “four or five more years.” But a report from Sports Rapp Up, a site devoted to covering Ohio State football, suggests that Penn State have approached the former Florida coach Urban Meyer to gauge his interest about coming to Happy Valley.
The source told SRU that school officials contacted Meyer Sept. 25 and expressed major interest in pursuing him as head coach should Paterno, in fact, decide to retire.
Meyer was in State College to conduct a preseason interview with Penn State linebacker Mike Mauti, now out for the year with a torn ACL, and reportedly met with school president Graham Spanier and athletic director Tim Curley while on campus. Those talks apparently were productive.
“Urban would love to have that job,” the source said. “Keep in mind, though, that he doesn’t want to be known as the guy who forced out Joe Paterno. It would have to be done in the right way. I think they could appeal to Joe Pa’s best interests and allow him to be the king-maker.”
Jeff Rapp of Sports Rapp Up quotes Mark Brennan of FightOnState.com as saying Paterno likes Meyer, and got along well with him at the Outback Bowl in January, Meyer’s last game before stepping down as coach of the Gators. Whether he’d actually retire to open to door for Meyer, though, remains to be seen.
Paterno has been more active in recruiting than he has in years, and by all accounts he is still enthusiastic about coaching Penn State beyond this season. That being said Meyer, who is a two-time national champion with Florida, is the best available coach in the country.
Following Paterno is going to be a daunting task for anyone, but Meyer has the presence and resume to do it.
Since the story came out both Curley and Meyer have both denied that they met. Curley was quoted by the The Patriot-News as saying:
“It’s not true,” Curley said. “It’s not true. I’m not going any further with that, okay?”
Meyer, who was at the Penn State v Iowa game at the weekend, was quoted on Saturday as saying:
“I’m not going to say anything. There’s no truth to” the report.
Interesting that neither Curley or Meyer said that they were not interested about the possibility of Meyer taking over for Paterno. What do you think about Urban Meyer coaching at Penn State. Would you be in favor of it?