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Penn State coaches have strong Maryland ties

With defensive coordinator Tom Bradley taking over for Joe Paterno as head coach at Penn State for the final three games, Ron Vanderlinden and Larry Johnson will serve as co-defensive coordinators for the Nittany Lions.

Vanderlinden, linebackers coach at PSU, was head coach at Maryland from 1997-2000, going 15-29 before being fired. Ralph Friedgen replaced him. He joined Penn State's staff after his dismissal at Maryland.

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Before being named head coach for the Terps, Vanderlinden was defensive coordinator at Northwestern. He also coached at Colorado, Ball State and Michigan. At Penn State he oversaw the development of NFL linebackers Navorro Bowman (49ers), Sean Lee (Cowboys), Dan Connor (Panthers) and Paul Posluszny (Jaguars). While defensive coordinator at Northwestern Vanderlinden coached current Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

Johnson, Penn State defensive line coach, was a high school coach at McDonough in Pomfret, Md., winning three state titles. He is often credited with helping Penn State attract some of Maryland's top high school players to State College, Pa. Johnson reportedly declined a chance to interview to be defensive coordinator at Maryland for Randy Edsall earlier this year.

Vanderlinen photo by The Baltimore Sun, 2000

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