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Penn State, ex-Titans coach Mike Munchak have mutual interest

Michael Conroy/Associated Press
Mike Munchak is among the candidates to replace Bill O'Brien at Penn State.

Penn State is set to interview Mike Munchak, who was fired as head coach of the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, for its head coaching vacancy, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday on "NFL GameDay Morning" that Penn State reached out through back channels last week to gauge Munchak's interest in leading his alma mater after Bill O'Brien departed to take over the Houston Texans.

"Mike Munchak is already drawing interest from Penn State, a place he turned down last year for a job. Certainly a lot of mutual interest there," Rapoport said.

Munchak was an All-America offensive lineman for the Nittany Lions from 1978-81, but does not have any experience coaching at the collegiate level. Munchak spent his entire professional career with the Titans, dating back to its previous incarnation as the Houston Oilers, but was dismissed after failing to reach the playoffs in any of his three seasons as Titans head coach.

Penn State has already met with Miami head coach Al Golden, while Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin could also be an option now that the Commodores concluded their season with a win in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Saturday.

Munchak would be the sentimental choice, given his history with the school, but he might not be prepared to handle the lingering fallout of significant NCAA-imposed scholarship reductions from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State will be feeling the effects with a limited roster right as the Big Ten realigns divisions this upcoming season, meaning the Nittany Lions will have to play Rose Bowl winner and conference champions Michigan State, BCS bowl participant Ohio State, and Michigan each season.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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