Penn State's new coach calls for 'healing'

NEED TO KNOW
  • Interim coach Tom Bradley played and coached for Paterno
  • Says only his dad has meant more to him than Paterno
  • Bradley: 'Very mixed emotions' about taking over team
Penn State's new coach calls for 'healing'

This is not how Tom Bradley imagined the biggest day of his professional life.

The longtime Penn State assistant coach was introduced Thursday as the team's new interim head coach, replacing Joe Paterno -- man who had held that job since 1966 -- and doing so in the middle of the child sex abuse scandal which has made a mockery of the campus' nickname of Happy Valley.

Bradley not only worked alongside Paterno for 32 years, he also once played for him. The interim coach was a defensive back for a pair of Paterno-coached teams in 1977 and 1978. And he quickly made clear the reverence he holds for the fallen former coach.

"Coach Paterno has meant more to me than anybody except my father," he told reporters. "I've had the privilege and honor to work for him, spend time with him... It's with great respect that I speak of him, and I'm proud to say that I've worked for him."

Paterno was fired Wednesday night by the university's board of trustees for not doing more when presented with information that former coach Jerry Sandusky was allegedly sexually abusing a young boy.

The man who brought that information to Paterno back in 2002, assistant Mike McQueary, is still coaching for Penn State and Bradley announced McQueary will remain with the team and be a part of his staff when they take the field for Saturday's game against Nebraska.

That's about as much detail as he was willing to give on anything relating to the sex abuse case. Multiple reporters shot questions at him which in one way or another referenced the scandal, but Bradley deflected each of them.

He did allow that he "takes this job with very mixed emotions due to the situation" and hoped to help the university "start the healing process."

 

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