Jay Paterno is no longer employed as a member of the Penn State coaching staff, announcing Tuesday that he has not been retained by new head coach Bill O’Brien.
Paterno spent 17 years on his father’s staff with the Nittany Lions, the last 12 seasons as quarterbacks coach. But with O’Brien, the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots, likely to revamp what had been a mediocre Lions offense in 2011, Paterno was let go.
Paterno said he and O’Brien spoke this week and they “reached the conclusion that I will not be a part of the Penn State football staff moving forward.”
Paterno, whose father was fired as head coach on Nov. 9, said he will take a few weeks off to talk with his wife and his family and consider options either inside or outside of football. He also will help his mother deal with his father’s treatments for lung cancer.
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Jay Paterno released a statement Tuesday thanking his former players and Penn State fans for their support, both throughout his career and in the last two months since the child sexual abuse scandal surfaced following the indictment of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
“Through the tumult of the past several weeks, it has been your stalwart support combined with life lessons learned from Joe Paterno that has and continue to sustain us,” he said.
Paterno concluded his statement by saying, “I wish the program the best of luck in carrying on the academic and athletic excellence that have been a hallmark of this university for decades.”
In addition to his years at Penn State, Paterno also coached at Virginia, Connecticut and James Madison.
Tom Bradley, who spent 33 years on the coaching staff and served as interim head coach for the final four games of 2011, is not likely to return although his fate has not been officially announced. Bradley took over as head coach following Joe Paterno’s firing by the board of trustees.