Reports add two assistants to O'Brien's staff

The Penn State staff under new head coach Bill O’Brien continued to take shape Monday with reports identifying two new members.

John Strollo, the offensive line coach at Ball State, will be brought on to the staff, according to Kokomo, Ind., television station WIOU.

Stan Hixon, who has coached wide receivers for the last eight years with the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins, is being brought on as wide receivers coach, the Buffalo News reported.

O’Brien has worked with both Strollo and Hixon before. He and Strollo were on the same staff at Duke in 2005 and 2006 before O’Brien left for the New England Patriots. O’Brien and Hixon spent five years together (1995 through 1999) on the coaching staff at Georgia Tech.

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Assistant coach Kermit Buggs, who worked eight years on the Penn State staff, the last five seasons as safeties coach, said on Twitter he will not be brought back.

“Just got the call this morning I’m not being retained. I thank all of my followers in the Penn State community,” he said in a series of three Tweets. “I thank coach O’Brien for giving me an interview and wish him the best of luck. To my players, Tnx and ‘make plays.’”

Stollo and Hixon would increase O’Brien’s staff to four. A pair of holdovers from the staff of Joe Paterno and Tom Bradley, defensive line coach Larry Johnson and linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden, have been retained.

O’Brien, who is back with the New England Patriots to help them prepare for the start of their playoff run Saturday night against Denver, has said he wanted seven assistants in place by Wednesday to prepare for the resumption of recruiting on Friday.

--Joe Juliano

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