As an orthopedic surgeon, David Joyner said he learned to "compartmentalize" exterior forces to prevent them from distracting him in the operating room. He expects to translate that skill set in hiring a new football coach at Penn State.
"My medical background has probably been as strong of a preparation for this type of thing as anything," Penn State's interim athletic director said. "You might think that it's a divergent, but it's really not. That skill set, I think, is helping me transfer it over [to his new job]."
Joe Paterno following the indictment of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky on charges of child molestation.
Joyner suspended his board membership to become interim athletic director, a job that has one primary purpose: to find a head coach. Joyner has said that all coaches, including those on the current staff, are welcome to apply. Whether they will be considered is another matter.
Penn State's search for its 15th head coach likely will focus on candidates with certain criteria: head coaching experience, recruiting contacts in the Northeast and an impeccably vetted personal history.
Though the requirements sound daunting, ESPN analyst Matt Millen said they shouldn't be a deterrent for the 125-year-old program.
"I hate to be a homer, but it's Penn State," Millen said on ESPN's "College Football Live" on Wednesday. "There's only maybe a dozen jewels in the crown of college football; Penn State is one of them.
"Why? Because they have tradition, they have finances, they have facilities, they have a built-in recruiting trail. They're in a good home state, a good fertile state. They have everything out there to be able to get [a coach]. They just have to find the right guy."
Here are a few candidates for the list:
Penn State's interim head coach and former defensive coordinator is interested, motivated and the choice of many players, current and former. That might not mean anything to the search committee and Penn State President Rodney Erickson, who appear headed toward an outside hire.
Still, Bradley might be the best choice in transition, particularly if the committee doesn't get its candidate and moves toward a panic hire. The fact that he's currently recruiting for a program that might let him go in a few weeks says something.
Bradley will coach Penn State if it goes to a bowl game, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
East Stroudsburg University coach Denny Douds raved about his former quarterback, who was a two-time all-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference performer and a one-year graduate assistant at ESU.
"He's a highly enthusiastic, energetic guy who would pump enthusiasm into any program he would go into," Douds said. "Look what happened at Vanderbilt."
Franklin, 39, went 6-6 in his first season as Vanderbilt's head coach, taking the team to bowl eligibility after back-to-back 2-10 seasons. He has coached at eight colleges (including Maryland and Kansas State) and with four NFL teams (including a stop as Green Bay's receivers coach).
At Maryland, Franklin was hired by former head coach Ron Vanderlinden and served as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach. Franklin could help persuade Vanderlinden, Penn State's linebackers coach, to remain on staff.
Further, Franklin has been recognized by the recruiting site Rivals.com as one of the nation's top 25 recruiters and has contacts in the Maryland/Washington D.C. area, which Penn State has recruited successfully of late. He also maintains a vacation home in the Poconos and has ties to high school coaches in the region.
With Delaware not receiving a bid to the FCS playoffs, the Emmaus High graduate will find his name on search-committee lists, despite being signed through 2017.
Keeler said last year that he did not want to leave his alma mater, but that was last year. Keeler already has replaced one legend in Tubby Raymond; why not another?
Penn State reportedly has contacted the ACC's coach of the year, who went 8-4 at Virginia. London is negotiating a contact extension, according to the Washington Post, and might be unavailable.
Tuesday's high-priority name is an intriguing candidate. The Mississippi State coach is young (39), offensive-minded (coached quarterbacks and offenses at three schools under Urban Meyer) and knows something about Penn State (his father is a graduate).
Mullen played at Ursinus, has coached quarterbacks Alex Smith at Utah and Tim Tebow at Florida and is 20-17 at Mississippi State. He has denied reports of offers, and his athletic director quoted Ben Franklin on the school's website Wednesday.
"This is the time of year when rumors begin to fly in coaching circles," Scott Stricklin wrote. "I'm reminded of a Ben Franklin quote: 'Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." I'm sure we can all agree that those are wise words."
Mullen signed a new deal last December that has a $1.4 million buyout clause.
New coach to face intense scrutiny
Former PSU star Millen: 'They just have to find the right guy.'
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