Four assistant coaches leave Penn State, expected to join O'Brien

Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien talks during a news conference after an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, in Madison, Wis. Penn State won 31-24. (Morry Gash/AP file)

Four members of Bill O'Brien's coaching staff at Penn State -- defensive coordinator John Butler, wide receivers coach Stan Hixon, running backs coach Charles London and safeties coach Anthony Midget -- have submitted their resignations, effective Monday, a Penn State spokesman said.

Multiple reports say the four will join O'Brien's staff with the Houston Texans. O'Brien was introduced last Friday as the Texans' new head coach.

Strength and conditioning coach Craig Fitzgerald and two of his assistants, Dwight Galt IV and Sean Hayes, also have resigned from Penn State and are expected to work for the Texans. Special assistant Jim Bernhardt, special assistant to the head coach and a long-time friend of O'Brien's, also is heading to Houston.

Both Butler and Fitzgerald are graduates of La Salle College High School.

Only three assistant coaches remain from O'Brien's staff at Penn State: defensive line coach and interim head coach Larry Johnson, offensive line coach Mac McWhorter and tight ends coach John Strollo. McWhorter came out of retirement to join O'Brien with the Nittany Lions two years ago and may retire again.

There were no reports Monday on whether the search committee seeking a new head coach was involved in interviews with any candidates. Johnson is expected to receive an interview some time this week, according to reports.

--Joe Juliano