Originally posted on SPORTS by BROOKS  |  Last updated 1/3/12

ORLANDO, FL - JANUARY 1: Head coach Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions leaves the field following the 2010 Capital One Bowl against the LSU Tigers at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on January 1, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. Penn State won 19-17. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Multiple sources close to the football programs at Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh have indicated to SbB that acting Penn State head football coach Tom Bradley is the leading candidate for the defensive coordinator position under new Pitt head football coach Paul Chryst.

(Fit for Pitt? Bradley coached under Joe Paterno for 33 years at Penn State)

One source close to the Pitt program told SbB that Bradley is Chryst’s first choice for the job, but because of Bradley’s longtime association with the Penn State program - and his reported close ties to Jerry Sandusky - the Pitt coach will have to get school athletic director Steve Pederson and other Pitt officials and donors to sign off first.

With that in mind, SbB has been told that Bradley, Chryst and Pederson will meet before the week is out.

One of the driving forces behind Bradley’s candidacy is the Steelers, or more specifically, the Rooney family. Pitt is a ‘tenant’ of the Steelers practice facility and Bradley’s brother, Dr. James P. Bradley, is an orthopedic surgeon and lead team doctor for the NFL club.

Thanks in large part to support from the Rooney family, Bradley was nearly hired by Pitt as head football coach last year before the school opted for Todd Graham at the 11th hour. Had Bradley gotten the job, he reportedly would’ve brought Mike McQueary with him as an assistant coach.

Follow Brooks on Twitter or join him on Facebook for real-time updates

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