Scratch another name off Penn State’s options at defensive coordinator

With Virginia seemingly likely to be preparing to hire Penn Stae co-defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter to be its next head coach, Penn State continues to be on the prowl for a new defensive coordinator. And one of the names that had been thrown out as a potential target by some is already on the move to his new job. And it’s to Ohio State.

Jim Knowles, who had been the heralded defensive coordinator for Oklahoma State, is heading to Columbus to take on the role of defensive coordinator for Ohio State. From one OSU to another, Knowles will begin in his new role with Ohio State after Ohio State’s bowl game, allowing the current staff to remain in charge of the defense.

Interestingly, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has not made any cuts to his current staff, so it would seem someone is about to move to a new role, or Day foresees one of his assistants leaving for another opportunity and the addition of Knowles now ensures Ohio State’s staff will be relatively stable in any transition.

Larry Johnson to Penn State to be a defensive coordinator? Some will dream of this, for sure.

Knowles, a Pennsylvania native, had been mentioned by some as a potential candidate to take on the role of defensive coordinator at Penn State. Whether he was ever on the radar of Penn State or head coach James Franklin for the position is unknown, but it not at all comforting knowing Penn State’s biggest obstacle just secured one of the top defensive coordinator on the market at a time it has already lost Brent Pry to a head coaching job at Virginia Tech and Poindexter could be on the move to Virginia at any moment.

For now, the search continues for Franklin and Penn State. One name to keep an eye on may be Manny Diaz. Diaz was removed as head coach at Miami this week to allow the Hurricanes to hire Oregon‘s Mario Cristobal as his replacement. Miami bought out Diaz’s contract for $8 million, making Diaz a free agent. How quickly he returns to coaching remains to be seen, especially with an $8 million buyout to fall back on at least for a season.


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