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Tuesday September 16 2014
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Sideline View: Happy Valley

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First-year Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien recently completed his first spring practice in Happy Valley. O'Brien's first staff features two members that are well known at Beaver Stadium, but many others that are not. Here's a peek.

Stan Hixon - Assistant Head Coach/Wide Receivers Coach: Hixon was the WR coach with the Buffalo Bills the past two seasons after coaching receivers for the Washington Redskins from 2004-09. He also served as associate head coach/receivers coach at LSU from 2000-03 and coached receivers at Georgia Tech from 1995-99, where he worked with O'Brien. He also has coached at Wake Forest (1993-94), South Carolina (1989-92), Appalachian State (1983-88), and Morehead State (1980-82).


Ted Roof - Defensive Coordinator: Ted Roof was Auburn's defensive coordinator and linebackers coach from 2009-11, helping the Tigers capture the 2010 BCS National Championship. Roof was defensive coordinator at Minnesota in 2008 and prior to that was head coach at Duke from 2004-07 after spending two seasons as the Blue Devils’ defensive coordinator. He’s also coached at Georgia Tech, UMass and Western Carolina.


John Butler - Secondary Coach: A graduate of LaSalle College HS in suburban Philadelphia, Butler was special teams coach at South Carolina last year. He coached linebackers and special teams at Minnesota from 2007-10 and also coached at Harvard, Texas State and Midwestern State.


Charlie Fisher - Quarterbacks Coach: Fisher comes to Happy Valley after serving as the pass game coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami (OH) in 2011. He coached at Vanderbilt from 2002-10, and also spent time at NC State and Temple. The Allenwood, PA, native was also the head coach at West Georgia for eight seasons.


Larry Johnson - Defensive Line Coach: LJ is entering his 17th season on the Penn State staff and 13th year coaching the defensive line. One of two holdovers from the Joe Paterno era, Johnson arrived at Penn State after 20 highly successful seasons as a high school head coach in the Washington, D.C. area


Charles London - Running Backs Coach: London spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach and scout in the NFL. He coached on the Duke staff before entering the NFL.


Mac McWhorter - Offensive Line Coach: McWhorter was Texas’ associate head coach and offensive line coach from 2005-10 after joining the Longhorns' staff as tackles and tight ends coach in 2002. His long coaching career also includes stops at Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, West Georgia, Duke, Clemson and Memphis.


John Strollo - Tight Ends Coach: Stollo has coached at Ball State, Elon, Duke, Maine, Cornell, Lafayette, Massachusetts, Northeastern and Washburn.


Ron Vanderlinden - Linebackers Coach: Ron Vanderlinden is entering in his 12th year as linebackers coach. Vanderlinden was head coach at Maryland (1997-2000), defensive coordinator at Northwestern (1992-96) and a defensive assistant coach at Colorado (1983-91) prior to taking charge of the linebackers at Linebacker U.

I spent three days late last month visiting 18 high schools across the WPIAL. I drove 533 miles, took hundreds of photographs, shook hands with dozens of coaches, athletic directors and principals and climbed way too many stadium steps. I loved every minute of it, of course.
Editor's DeskFeature OneHigh School
Chartiers-Houston got on the winning side for the first time this season with a 21-14 win over visiting Western Beaver in the Week 3 CoGo's Feature Matchup.
Feature TwoHSCOGOS2014Press Room
Ringgold knocked the Knoch Knights from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 20-12 win at Joe Montana Stadium on Friday night in the US Steel Game of the Week.
Feature ThreeHSUSS2014Press Room
The Pittsburgh Riverhounds 2014 season ended last Saturday much the same way their season started in the spring. With lots of promise, with much anticipation, but in the end, in a disappointing finish.
Feature FourSports Bites
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Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 1 Xfinity HS FootballHigh School TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 2Pirates TV Channel
Full size video and summary... Misc YouTube Player 3USS HS GOTWHigh School TV Channel
Twenty-two WPIAL football teams will have new coaches pacing the sidelines this season, including a few that will be featured in the CoGo's Feature Matchup this season.
Custom 1HSCOGOS2014
Several of the most coveted recruits throughout the WPIAL have already made their college decisions, most notably Sterling Jenkins of Baldwin. Others, like Central Valley's Jordan Whitehead, are still being recruited.
Custom 2High SchoolKeystone Recruiting
Bill Cherpak misses the way it used to be. Back in the 80’s, when the current Thomas Jefferson High School coach was a player at Steel Valley, the recruiting process wasn’t publicized. It was low-key compared to the present.
Custom 3High School
The Mon-Valley has put plenty of athletes on Division 1 football teams over the years, including several who made it to the NFL. There are a few Mon-Valley natives playing D-1 ball this season.
Custom 4HSUSS2014