Penn State football fans have been through a lot in the past few years: a sex abuse scandal, the firing, and later the death of legendary coach Joe Paterno, sanctions from the NCAA, two years with a new coach, Bill O’Brien, and now there is another transition.
O’Brien is leaving the team for the NFL, to coach the Houston Texans.
Newswatch 16 spoke with fans at Dunham’s Sports near Bloomsburg. They said they want someone who can lead the team for years to come.
“Just somebody who is going to get them back on their feet, like I think O’Brien did a good job getting them to where they’re at regardless of what they went through and I just hope this next guy whoever gets the job, continues to do a great job,” said Brandon Hartzler of Milton.
Most believe James Franklin will be the next head football coach at PSU.
He is head of the Vanderbilt football program, hailed by many for leading the Commodores to three bowl games and twenty four wins in the last three years.
Franklin is a Pennsylvania native and was quarterback at East Stroudsburg University in the mid-90’s.
“Franklin, he is definitely like the top candidate for it, and I definitely think he would bring recruiting in, and I just really think he’d be a great coach,” said Josh Miller of Turbotville.
“I think hearing what I do, what I’ve just heard about him, he has the potential to bring Penn State up,” said Betsy Rubio of Bloomsburg.
Fans said they know there will never again be another coach like Joe Paterno, who was head coach for 45 years, but they said the program has come a long way recently and they hope that continues.
“They need another big name. They need someone who has run the program the way it has been the past two years,” said Justin Winn of Bloomsburg.