Late tonight news broke that Penn State will be retaining defensive coordinator Bob Shoop, who was believed to be the main target of LSU's search for that same position. Via his twitter:
#WEARE..So excited 2 b part of the Penn State Family. Lots of work 2 b done. Committed 2 building a Big 10 n National Championship Program!— Bob Shoop (@Coach_ShoopPSU) January 8, 2015
Black Shoe Diaries is dancing in the aisles of course. Can't blame him, since their fan base clearly wanted to retain Shoop and seemed pretty worried that he'd bail. Rumor has it James Franklin reacted quickly to the reports of Shoop's interest, so I'm guessing whenever Shoop returned to Pennsylvania from wherever it is Les Miles is conducting these interviews, Franklin was ready with a nice fat check to retain him. Shoop's a PA native, so the idea that he'd prefer to stay close to home, especially if he's better compensated for it, isn't really all that crazy. I do think Shoop's interest was legitimate -- had originally heard he was the one that reached out to LSU even. But in the end, he chose to stay in Pennsylvania and LSU can move on.
In the end, it's never great to get rejected like this, but I can't say I'm too upset. Because as good of a job as Shoop has done to date, I was just never quite sure he was the guy I wanted in the first place. I'm sure he'd do a fine job here, and I certainly would have liked the hire, but I'm not completely convinced it was the best move. Shoop doesn't have any ties to this region, and while that's certainly not a deal-breaker by any stretch, those ties can help, especially if you don't have a reputation as a bang-up, go-get-em type of recruiter. And Shoop definitely doesn't have that sort of rep according to our own Paul Crewe. Again, nothing against Shoop, I just think it raises questions, and at there are those for every name that's come up in this search.
So who's next? Not sure to be honest. The first guess is going to be promoting Brick Haley from within, which brings some mixed reaction. My opinion of it is, of course, tied to whether or not it entails bringing Ed Orgeron on to the staff with him. It's pretty clear that whomever is hired will not please everybody -- there was a healthy contingent that were against hiring Shoop because it wouldn't entail Orgeron. But there are still more twists and turns to come, and I'm sure that more names will emerge.
It's never boring...