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With Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier's firings, Penn State may bring in Tom Ridge and Urban Meyer to replace them

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Penn State's Board of Trustees may turn to some high-profile faces as replacements upon firing Joe Paterno and President Graham Spanier last night. Reports are surfacing that Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge may be hired as their next President. As the heir apparent to Paterno, former Florida coach Urban Meyer is at the top of the list of their coaching search.

While Penn State hasn't done the right thing by not firing Mike McQueary (who witnessed Jerry Sandusky raping a child), this would be a great move by the Board.

Ridge brings instant credibility as a former Governor and former head of the Department of Homeland Security. Plus, there's the PA connection. You can't get much more credible that that by hiring a former PA Governor to run your college institution.

Ridge is one of the few people in PA with the public stature of Paterno, who has close ties to the Republican Party.

As for Meyer, there's no need to explain why this would be a perfect move by PSU. Meyer's track record speaks for itself. He led the Florida Gators to two national championships and is one of the best college football coaches in the past twenty years. Other possible replacements include former Temple coach Al Golden and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.

Meyer walked away from coaching after the 2010 season due to health concerns. When it comes to potential coaching candidates, he is the clear-cut #1 name out there unless you want to throw Bill Cowher's name into the mix, but he'll never coach on the college level.

With Joe Paterno gone, it will be very strange in Happy Valley as they will be searching for a new head coach for the first time since 1965.

Photo of Tom Ridge from mediabistro.com

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com

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