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Report: Penn State’s other defensive coordinator a head coach candidate at Virginia

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Penn State’s coaching staff is currently looking to find a new defensive coordinator after Brent Pry accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Virginia Tech. According to one report, it seems Penn State’s most likely in-house candidate to take on the role of defensive coordinator could be a candidate to be Pry’s new rival at Virginia.

Anthony Poindexter, who had been Penn State’s co-defensive coordinator with Pry under head coach James Franklin, has been mentioned as a candidate or a coach with interest connected to the vacancy at Virginia. Bronco Mendenhall officially resigned from his position of head coach with the Cavaliers at the conclusion of the regular season, opening up another head coaching vacancy in the ACC this offseason.

Mike Barber, the ACC beat reporter for Richmond Times-Dispatch, mentioned Poindexter as a potential candidate for the Virginia job Sunday morning, via Twitter. Poindexter was mentioned as a candidate for Virginia among others including Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott and Marshall head coach Charles Huff.

Poindexter is a Virginia native and he played his college football for the Cavaliers. He also got his coaching start with the Virginia program as a graduate assistant in 2003 and an assistant coach serving various roles from 2004 through 2013 ranging from running backs coach to defensive backs coach, to safeties and special teams coach. He is much a Virginia man as they may come. If Virginia wants someone to take over their program who truly understands everything the program is about and what challenges it has in the ACC, then Poindexter would seem to make plenty of sense.

Huff is another former Penn State assistant under James Franklin, and he is coming off his first season as head coach at Marshall. Huff coached Marshall to a 7-5 record, which will send the Thundering Herd to the bowl season. Huff could be a nice hire by Virginia as well given his recruiting connections in the region and his year of head coaching experience already under his belt.

Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is also a coach viewed as ready to take on a head coaching opportunity somewhere, and he could be the second coordinator this offseason to leave Clemson if Virginia makes him an offer. Reports are indicating Oklahoma will hire Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables to be their next head coach after Lincoln Riley left for USC.

There is no expected timeline for when Virginia will name its next head coach, although things do tend to move swiftly this time of the year when it comes to the coaching carousel. Poindexter remains a likely top candidate to be Penn State’s full-time defensive coordinator for now, but the Virginia vacancy will certainly be worth paying close attention to with Poindexter looking like a solid candidate for the job.

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