Updated at 11:05 a.m.
Tennessee Titans Coach Mike Munchak put an end to talk that he will succeed Joe Paterno as Penn State coach
“I love my alma mater, but I have no interest in being the head coach at Penn State,” Munchak told the Tennessean. “I never want to leave Tennessee.
“I have a great deal of respect for Penn State and I hope they find a great coach there, but I am happy where I'm at.”
Munchak clarified that he has nothing against Penn State’s football program, struggling to detoxify after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.
“It is not like I'm saying I want nothing to do with Penn State,” he told Wyatt. “My point is I have no interest in being the head coach there.”
Munchak reportedly was the top choice of a search committee tasked with finding Paterno’s successor, with Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements the second choice, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Munchak sought to squelch the report all along, though, sending Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean a text message: “Nothing is going on. People like to speculate.”
Penn State’s vacancy occurred in early November, when, in his 46th season as coach, Paterno was fired in the wake of child sexual-abuse charges filed against Sandusky, Paterno’s former defensive coordinator. Paterno, 85, is not under investigation and is recovering from a pelvic injury in a fall at his home. In addition, he is receiving radiation treatment and chemotherapy for what his family says is a treatable form of lung cancer.
Meanwhile, interim coach Tom Bradley, who interviewed for the permanent position, continues to prepare the Nittany Lions to play Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2. It hasn’t been easy going for Bradley. In addition to following a legend with a horrific scandal making headlines daily, starting quarterback Matt McGloin and wide receiver Curtis Drake recently had a locker-room fight that sent the quarterback to the hospital. Drake is not with the team for the bowl trip and McGloin, who suffered a seizure and concussion in the fight, remains uncertain for the bowl game. He watched practice Tuesday in street clothes.
Locker-room spat: Quarterback hospitalized overnight
Paterno aftermath: What’s next?
Letter to Paterno: Former players send support
Timeline: How Penn State scandal unfolded