By: Breanna Jacobs
It was confirmed today that Penn State University will officially hire current New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien as the new head football coach.
O’Brien will be formally introduced as the new head coach of the Nittany Lions in a press conference on Saturday. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m.
Former head coach Joe Paterno was fired on Nov. 9 in wake of the sexual abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. After Paterno’s firing, defensive coordinator Tom Bradley took over Paterno’s position in the interim and a special committee was formed to search for a new head coach.
Many names were blasted through the rumor mill, but Penn State remained mum about who they would be hiring until today.
Penn State has not had to hire a head football coach in 46 years and O’Brien will replace the winningest coach in Division I football history, but it seems he is ready for the challenge.
“I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Penn State football program,” O’Brien said in a statement. “As head coach of this special football program, it is my responsibility to ensure that this program represents the highest level of character, respect and integrity in everything we do.”
This was O’Brien’s first season as offensive coordinator for the Patriots. He has been coaching star quarterback Tom Brady since 2009 and coached wide receivers in 2008. O’Brien will remain with the Patriots through the NFL play-offs.
“Needless to say, we have been looking for someone with some very special qualities, beginning with a heart that beats to the values and vision of Penn State University and our Penn State football legacy and tradition,” said Penn State’s Acting Athletic Director David Joyner.
Even Paterno is optimistic that O’Brien will be able to uphold the legacy of the Penn State football program.
“”Despite recent commentary to the contrary, Penn State football has always been about more than winning,” Paterno said in a statement his family provided to the Associated Press.”I am hopeful this tradition will continue.”