GREEN BAY – Tom Clements is reportedly interested in being the next head coach at Penn State, and his star pupil, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, believes he is the right man for the job.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday that Clements has applied for the job and sent his resume to the six-member selection committee, citing sources. Clements declined comment Monday when contacted by the newspaper.
Penn State interim president Rodney Erickson said last week that he hopes to name the Nittany Lions' next head coach by its bowl game. Penn State will face the University of Houston in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas on Jan. 2. Former assistant Tom Bradley has been the interim coach since legendary coach Joe Paterno was dismissed in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
Clements, 58, is a Pennsylvania native and former all-American quarterback at Notre Dame. He has never been a head coach at any level but has been an NFL assistant since 1997, including the Packers’ quarterbacks coach since 2006, developing both Rodgers and backup Matt Flynn.
Last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that safeties coach Darren Perry, a Penn State alum, is also interested in the job.
Speaking on his weekly radio show on ESPNMilwaukee and ESPNMadison, Rodgers said the Nittany Lions job will be a challenge for whoever replaces Paterno but that he believes Clements is up to the task.
“That would be a difficult situation, I think, if you look at the landscape of college football as it unfolds in the next month or so, with the bowl season finishing up. There for sure is going to be some openings. I’m not convinced that’s going to be at the top of many people’s list of places to go,” Rodgers said. “It’s a difficult situation, obviously. You’re going to have to make some changes, but I can tell you what, Tom Clements is a man of integrity, discipline, hard work, sticks to his guns. He’s a moral man, he’s an incredible coach, great teacher, understands the game, has played the game at a high level at the CFL for 13 years, has almost 40,000 yards passing, has won the Grey Cup a couple of times. His record as a player speaks for itself, more than he ever will. It speaks to the kind of guy he is. Great college player, won a national championship.
“He has the pedigree, and he understands how to relate to guys. I have a great relationship, would hate to see him go, but I’ve really enjoyed my time with Tom, and consider him a very close friend, but also someone who I don’t ever want to let down on game-day. We have a great relationship as friends, but also as player-to-coach. I think if anyone could go into that situation and handle it with dignity and class, it would be Tom Clements.”
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