Tom Bradley, longtime Penn St. Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, was introduced as the team's interim coach at a Thursday morning press conference. Bradley is taking over for Joe Paterno, who you may have heard has coached in Happy Valley for 61 years. Paterno was fired Wednesday night due to the ongoing Jerry Sandusky scandal.
"I take this job with very mixed emotions," Bradley said, seated in front of a blue Nittany Lions backdrop and wearing a gold tie. He mentioned team meetings, hearing from former players who will attend on Saturday, planned meetings with recruits, and a captains' gathering in preparation of the Nebraska game.
"The football part, we'll get working on that right away," Bradley said, "For now, you should know our team's thoughts and prayers are with those children and their families."
Bradley said Mike McQueary, the former GA who reported the 2002 Sandusky allegation to Paterno, will remain in his capacity as an assistant, but didn't say where he'd be positioned in the stadium. He also declared Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden will take over as co-coordinators on defense.
When asked about whether Penn State will play any games after the Nebraska game, he boggled a little bit. "What do you mean?" he said, eventually saying the rest of the season is up to the school's administration, but he hopes to finish it out. He said canceling games hasn't been discussed.
"Joe Paterno has meant more to me than anybody but my father," Bradley said, adding that he's comfortably coached on the sideline before with Paterno either in the press box or unavailable.
He also said, "Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men -- most of you know him as a football coach -- I've had the privilege to work with him. He's had a dynamic impact on so many, so many -- I'll say I, so many -- people and player's lives. I'm proud to say that I worked with him."
He was asked many times about Paterno's exit, but declined to comment on the investigation, Sandusky, McQueary's role, his own future as a potential non-interim coach, Paterno's firing and so forth, deferring the McQueary question to acting athletic director Mark Sherburne.