By William Bowman
The Daily Item
STATE COLLEGE -- As Penn State begins a new era of football, two focal points will be first-time head coach Bill O'Brien and Matt McGloin, a former walk-on from West Scranton who enters the season as the starting quarterback.
How well O'Brien does in his first head coaching stint and how much progress McGloin makes are both tied directly to one man: New Penn State quarterback coach Charlie Fisher.
Fisher, an Allenwood native who graduated from Warrior Run, is entering his 31st season as a coach, his first at Penn State, a place he watched games as a kid.
"I sat in wooden bleachers, right over there," Fisher said Thursday at media day, pointing to the tunnel where Penn State enters the field on game day in front of 100,000 fans. "That tells you how long ago it was."
Fisher, who has had plenty of stops on his coaching career, was the passing coordinator at Miami (Ohio) a year ago. He has also coached at Temple, North Carolina State and Vanderbilt recently, where he worked with both Jay Cutler (now the quarterback of the Chicago Bears) and Earl Bennett, who became the SEC's all-time leading receiver.
Fisher always wondered if he would ever come to Penn State though. Less than an hour's drive from his hometown, Fisher always had thoughts of it, but the opportunity never presented itself.
"Somewhere in the back of your brain, there was always hope that I could coach here someday," he said. "That's what you work for. I'm the luckiest guy in the world to get this opportunity. To grow up right down the road in Central Pennsylvania and to come here and come home and coach at my home state university, this is the living the dream for someone like me."