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Report: Penn State Assistant a 'Key Candidate' at Virginia

Anthony Poindexter, the Lions' co-defensive coordinator, is receiving 'serious consideration' at his alma mater, Football Scoop reports.

Penn State assistant coach Anthony Poindexter, in his first year on James Franklin's staff, has emerged as a "key candidate" for the head-coaching job at Virginia, according to a report.

Football Scoop reported Monday that Poindexter, Penn State's co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach, is "garnering serious consideration" for the position. ESPN's Adam Rittenberg reported that Virginia will interview Poindexter this week.

Poindexter is in Las Vegas to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. The National Football Foundation's annual ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday. The Virginia job opened last week, when Bronco Mendenhall decided to step down.

Poindexter is a Virginia legend, having been a two-time All-American safety and the 1998 ACC player of the year. He joined Penn State's staff in February after spending the previous four seasons as the co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Purdue.

Penn State's safeties excelled this season under Poindexter. Jaquan Brisker was named first-team All-Big Ten after a regular season in which he made 5.5 tackles for loss. Fellow safety Ji'Ayir Brown, a third-team selection, leads the Lions with four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown against Maryland. Brown also recovered two fumbles.

On Sunday, Penn State coach James Franklin sounded as though he expects more staff turnover following defensive coordinator Brent Pry's departure to Virginia Tech. Franklin said he's trying to keep as much of his staff intact because "it's that time of year."

"There's always people that have opportunities and options," Franklin said. "When you lose people from your staff for head coaching opportunities, obviously the people that they know are part of your current staff. So that becomes an even stronger challenge, because they have intimate, personal and professional relationships with people on the staff."

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Franklin's defensive staffs have been quite stable. He has not replaced more than one defensive assistant in any year since becoming Penn State's head coach in 2014.

Pry was with him for eight seasons, former defensive line coach Sean Spencer for six, and former safeties coach Tim Banks for five. Cornerbacks coach Terry Smith is the last remaining assistant from Franklin's original 2014 staff.

If Poindexter takes the Virginia job, that would create a unique coaching-tree situation. The Commonwealth would have three former Franklin assistants as head coaches: Poindexter at Virginia, Pry at Virginia Tech and Ricky Rahne at Old Dominion.

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