49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. (San Francisco 49ers )
San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman is a finalist to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State, his agent said Monday.
Mike Harrison told the AP by phone that Roman interviewed for the position in November and is on the "short list" to take over the embattled program, rocked in recent months by the sex-abuse scandal.
Harrison said he expects to know soon whether Roman will be hired, but declined to offer further details, such as whether Roman would finish out the season with the playoff-bound NFC West champion 49ers (13-3). San Francisco is the NFC's No. 2 seed and earned a first-round bye, with its first game Jan. 14 at Candlestick Park.
"We should know in a week or so, that's our best guess," said Harrison, of the Los Angeles-based agency Advantage Sports & Entertainment. "He interviewed quite a while ago."
Penn State's season came to an end Monday with a 30-14 loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas.
Harrison said Roman — who came to the 49ers from Stanford along with Coach Jim Harbaugh last year — was offered the Tulane job to replace Bob Toledo. The school hired Curtis Johnson last month.
Penn State officials have insisted it doesn't have a leading candidate
USA Today and ESPN reported Sunday that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was the top contender for the Nittany Lions job.
Acting Athletic Director David Joyner said there wasn't anybody who could be classified as a leading candidate in its nearly two-month long search for a football coach.
The program has been without a permanent head coach since Nov. 9, when university trustees fired Hall of Famer Paterno in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
Longtime defensive coordinator Tom Bradley, who has been leading the team on an interim basis, has interviewed for the job. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson is also among the candidates who have interviewed.
A person familiar with the move said Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon have accepted jobs on Washington Coach Steve Sarkisian's staff.
ESPN, citing anonymous sources, first reported the moves, which come two days after Sarkisian fired defensive coordinator Nick Holt, linebackers coach Mike Cox and safeties coach Jeff Mills. On Thursday, Washington gave up 777 total yards and 67 points against Baylor in the Alamo Bowl.
Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly has shaken up his staff following the departures of running backs coach Tim Hinton and offensive line coach Ed Warinner.
Chuck Martin, who had been coaching the defensive backs, is the new offensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish. He replaces Charley Molnar, who is the new head coach at Massachusetts.
Denmark beats U.S. in Hopman Cup tennis
The United States lost to Denmark, 2-1, at the Hopman Cup at Perth, Australia, with Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen beating Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish, 7-5, 6-3,in the deciding mixed doubles match.
Fish gave the U.S. an opening victory in the Australian Open tuneup, defeating Nielsen 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. The top-ranked Wozniacki made it to the tournament only four hours earlier on a flight from Thailand. She beat Mattek-Sands 7-6 (4), 6-2 to tie the best-of-three series before the Danish pair combined to win mixed doubles.