By Will Brinson
Titans coach Mike Munchak's done good work in Tennessee during his first season -- his team still has a longshot of snagging a Wild Card -- and it hasn't gone unnoticed, as Munchak is reportedly on the top of the search committee list for Penn State.
Nearly two months ago, Joe Paterno was fired as head coach of the Nittany Lions and according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Munchak is the "top pick of the search committee" to replace Joe Pa.
Tom Clements, the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach, is reportedly the backup plan in the event Munchak declines to take the job with Penn State. Clements, a Notre Dame grad, has interviewed twice already, although not yet in person.
Penn State's said they're taking a "measured approach" to the search, but has said that the school wants a new coach in place before Penn State's bowl game. Given that Munchak's final regular-season game with the Titans is January 1 and the Nittany Lions play in the TicketCity Bowl on January 2, that seems like a stretch.
Munchak, drafted in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers, was an offensive lineman for Penn State from 1978-1981 and was a second-team All-American in his senior year.
"Mike would be a great fit," former Penn State running back Curt Warner said per the Post-Gazette. "He's a Penn State guy. I don't think any of his old teammates would be upset about him getting the job at all. He has my support. I'd love to see him get it."
But Munchak told Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean that he's not interested in the gig.
"Nothing is going on," Munchak said, "People like to speculate."
The question will probably come down to where Munchak's loyalty lies the most: he played with the Oilers his entire career and has coached in the organization (either with the Titans or Oilers) ever since. That's since 1983, mind you, and it's probably enough time to cancel out his four years spent in State College.
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