Anthony Poindexter Staying at Penn State Amid Head Coach Rumors

Story posted December 9, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Emma Holtz

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State co-defensive coordinator Anthony Poindexter is here to stay after days of speculation swirling around the University of Virginia Football’s head coach opening.

The resignation of former Cavaliers’ head coach Bronco Mendenhall after six seasons sparked discussion about who would be at the top of the organization’s interest list. Virginia’s record stands at 36-38 under Mendenhall with an upcoming appearance at the Fenway Bowl against Southern Methodist on Dec. 29.

Poindexter’s resume preceded him going into the head coaching search. A UVA alumni and two-time first-team All American safety, Poindexter earned the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award in 1998.

Poindexter transitioned from the field to the headset for 11 seasons with the Cavaliers coaching staff. His various roles were tailored to the running backs and special teams as well as safeties
coach.

After a jaunt to the University of Connecticut and then West Lafayette with the Purdue Boilermakers as the co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, Poindexter joined Head Coach James Franklin in Happy Valley in February 2021.

Poindexter’s influence reached the field during his inaugural season with safeties Ji’Ayir Brown and Jaquan Brisker taking the top third and fourth positions for total tackles, logging 67 and 64 respectively.

According to a tweet by ESPN College Football Senior Writer Adam Rittenberg, Poindexter stated his status via text message on Dec. 8.

This news follows days after the departure of Nittany Lions defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Brent Pry to Virginia Tech Football’s head coach position after eight seasons with the Blue and White.

Pry’s promotion to Penn State’s defensive coordinator in 2016 brought three seasons with 11 wins and a Big Ten Championship in 2016 against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Franklin had an association with Pry dating back to Franklin’s tenure as quarterback for East Stroudsburg University. Penn State is on the alert for a replacement going into bowl season.

Poindexter’s return to Happy Valley for a second season on the defensive coaching staff means the head coaching race is open in Charlottesville, Va.

One of the top names in the candidate pool is Clemson Tigers Football offensive coordinator and Assistant Head Coach Tony Elliott. No official confirmation has yet been issued by UVA.

Emma Holtz is a second-year majoring in public relations. To contact her, email exh5337@psu.edu