Joe Paterno Fired, Tom Bradley To Step In
Amid an ongoing child sex-abuse scandal involving former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, the school has appointed defensive coordinator Tom Bradley to serve as interim head coach.
Longtime head coach Joe Paterno, who said he would retire at season’s end, was fired Wednesday night along with university President Graham Spanier for their lack of action when they learned of the sex assault allegations.
“We’re obviously in a very unprecedented situation,” Bradley said Thursday morning about the Penn State scandal. “I have to find a way to restore the confidence … it’s with very mixed emotions and heavy hearts that we go through this.”
The 55-year-old Bradley said he found out he was being named head coach while watching game film Wednesday night. He says he called Paterno at about 11 p.m., but wouldn’t say what they discussed.
“I think that’s personal in nature,” Bradley said.
Bradley will be the first coach in almost a half-century other than Paterno to hold the reigns at Penn State. Paterno began coaching at the school in 1966, and – at 84-years-old – was probably nearing the end of his coaching career before it quickly was derailed in the midst of the Sandusky scandal.
He is the winningest coach in major college football history, and the effect of his departure on the Penn State community is already being felt, as angry students took to the streets Wednesday night to show their disproval. While shouting support for the iconic coach, the students rioted throughout the night, even tipping over a news van in the process.
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