O'Brien Retains Ron Vanderlinden, John Thomas on New Staff

Vanderlinden is now one of three assistants to remain on the Penn State staff, joining Larry Johnson Sr. and John Thomas. (Photo: Mike Pettigano

You have probably all heard this by now, but Bill O'Brien will be retaining Ron Vanderlinden to coach the linebackers at Penn State. Vanderlinden joins Defensive Line Coach Larry Johnson and Strength Coach John Thomas as hold overs from Joe Paterno's staff. Vanderlinden has been Penn State's linebacker coach since 2001, though was promoted to co-defensive coordinator (along with Johnson) following the incident in November. Vanderlinden's success at his position is well documented. He has sent six linebackers to the NFL during his tenure and end of the year All Big Ten teams frequently include at least one linebacker from Penn State.

Reactions (on twitter) to the news that Vanderlinden would be staying have been pretty positive. The Big Ten Networks' Gerry DiNardo is praising O'Brien for the decision to keep Vanderlinden on staff:

Great move by Bill O'Brien keeping Ron Vanderlinden. Combination of great coach and great recruiter much like Larry Johnson. #Pennstate

Even Cory Giger said something positive about Penn State with regards this development:

Promise of new, modern offense, plus Johnson & Vanderlinden back as def. coaches provides best of both worlds for PSU. Column coming later.

Shocking, I know.

There hasn't been much in the way of player reaction to the news about Vanderlinden, but I'm sure that they're pleased that another coach that they're familiar with has been kept on the new staff.

Update (via Mike): Strength and conditioning coach John Thomas will also remain on staff. So, let the HIT debate continue.

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