O'Brien formally introduced at Penn State

(AP) Bill O’Brien took the podium, looked straight ahead and uttered the kind of words you’d expect from someone who had just been introduced as Penn State’s new head football coach. “This is unbelievable.” Pronouncing himself as the new leader of Penn Stateon Saturday, O’Brien read a statement, then took questions from the media before posing for pictures. He reiterated his intention to remain offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots for the duration of their playoff run. Read the full AP recap and check out GoPSUSports.com’s story. Also, watch our one-on-one interview with O’Brien now.

The Bill O’Brien File, courtesy of GoPSUSports.com

1990-’92 – Brown (Player)
O’Brien served as a linebacker and defensive end for Brown University. He was a three-year letterman and graduated in 1992 with a bachelor of arts degree with a double concentration in political science and behavior management.

1993-’94 – Brown (Coach)
He began his coaching career at Brown in 1993 where he coached the tight ends. In 1994, O’Brien served as the inside linebackers coach for Brown.

1995-2002 – Georgia Tech
O’Brien joined the staff at Georgia Tech where he spent three seasons as an offensive graduate assistant. He began a three-year stint as the Yellow Jackets’ running backs coach in 1998 (’98-2000). In each of his three seasons leading the running backs, Georgia Tech finished no worse than third in the ACC in rushing. He also served as the recruiting coordinator in 1999 and 2000.  During his final two seasons at Georgia Tech, O’Brien was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, in addition to being assistant head coach in 2002. He worked under George O’Leary (1994-2001) and Chan Gailey (2002) while at Georgia Tech.

2003-’04 – Maryland
Following his stint at Georgia Tech, O’Brien spent two seasons as the running backs coach under Ralph Friedgen at Maryland. The Terrapins finished second in the ACC rushing rankings and defeated West Virginia in the Gator Bowl during the 2003 season.

2005-’06 – Duke
He completed a two-year stint with the Blue Devils where he served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

2007-’11 – New England Patriots
O’Brien’s most recent stop during his career was in New England. He originally joined the Patriots staff in 2007 before one season as the wide receivers coach (2008), two seasons as the quarterbacks coach (2009-’10) and one season as the offensive coordinator (2011). In 2008, despite losing quarterback Tom Brady in week one of the season, receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss both finished with 1,000-yard seasons under the leadership of O’Brien. Brady earned Pro Bowl selections in each of the three seasons under the guidance of O’Brien, including an NFL MVP and Offensive Player of the Year honor in 2010. This season, the Patriots offense played an instrumental role in a 13-3 season.  Brady finished second in the NFL in passing yardage with 5,235 yards. As a team, New England averaged 428.0 yards per game (2nd in NFL), 317.8 passing yards per game (2nd in NFL) and 32.1 points per game (3rd in NFL). O’Brien has worked with some of the most innovative players and coaches during his time in the NFL. New England is the No. 1 seed in AFC for upcoming NFL Playoffs.

Born on Oct. 23, 1969 in Dorchester, Mass., O’Brien was raised in Andover. He and his wife, Colleen, have two sons, Jack and Michael.

Leading Penn State
The 15th leader of Penn State football inherits a Nittany Lion squad coming off a 9-4 season. Despite graduating 23 seniors, the Nittany Lions return a great deal of talent on both sides of the ball. In all, the Lions return significant playing experience to nine different spots on offense, 11 spots on defense and at kicker/ punter from the 2011 squad.  Penn State’s offseason officially begins today with a new leader directing the program. In 239 days, a new chapter of Penn State football will begin at Beaver Stadium when the Nittany Lions charge out of the South Tunnel under the direction of head coach Bill O’Brien during the season-opener against Ohio.


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (10 Comments)
bob jones on 1/7/2012 @ 2:44pm EDT Said:

Looks like a great hire to me, the ex-players need to get on board and give their new coach a chance. You had your way for the last 45 years and it led to a culture of protecting the school’s image over doing what was right. Would have liked to have seen this anger that is being displayed now from more alums earlier, when they found out that their administration and much of the coaching staff had kept silent on one of the most despicable crimes imaginable. The at best lukewarm responses and at worst irrational responses to the hire, make it seem that most ex-players have still not come to terms with the decades long cover-up that could have been stopped and saved many children from the abuse they suffered if just one person had the guts or integrity to speak up, no matter what happened to dear old PSU. Time to show some anger at the enablers and abusers, not at a guy just trying to help put things back together.

gman on 1/7/2012 @ 3:13pm EDT Said:

The ex-players (dating back to the 1950’s) have lost their connection to their University. I understand their reaction and Lavar has already apologized for his emotional response. Read carefully too, they wre upset with the process, BoT, acting AD, not the hire, and have said that, but don’t let that cloud your opinion. Alum’s were outraged when this broke, just not at the same people the general public (most of whom could care less who the next coach was). The public is/was outraged with Joe Paterno, while the perp, Sandusky got little attention. The Alums were also upset that the AD and Chief of Police did nothing when given a witness account – yet the public remains upset at the person who brought the witness and information forward to the very people whose job it was to actually do something and did not. Those people, who are up on charges, were put on leave and left to retire while Joe was fired, by telephone. Again, it has little to do with what was done AFTER the scandal and everything to do with HOW it was done. O’Brien made a good first move to talk about Joe and retain Johnson. He knows the world’s largest Alumni Association will support him if he embraces the traditions and past of PSU. He will also speak with the former players who made PSU what it is, and understands the actions of one man and a few administrators DOES NOT match the values and traditions of Penn State…Let the healing begin. FYI, PSU Alums generated more money to some children support organizations in one month than they received in a whole year.

MicJames on 1/7/2012 @ 3:59pm EDT Said:

To Bob: Most Penn Staters are angry at the enablers and are looking forward to seeing Shultz (the police commisioner) and Curley (the AD) prosecuted for doing so. We were also happy to see the forced resignation of Spanier, the president who signed off on the “actions” taken by Curley and Shultz dealing with the allegations made by McQueary and brought to them by Paterno. Remember, Paterno reported the allegation to the AD and the police commissioner in person, as did McQueary when Joe put them in touch with him. When the BOT fired Joe, they fired the man who REPORTED the allegation of a sexual assault. It’s akin to firing the messenger. That’s why you perceive anger and frustration coming from people familiar with this case. The football coaches reported the incident of a former employee, and the administration and university police commisioner spectacularly and maybe purposefully dropped the ball. Yet, the general public perceives this as a football program covering up and enabling a crime. I understand the media thinks the public can only handle a simple narrative, but the public records and testimony are all available online if you are interested in facts and truth rather than easy scapegoating. If you still have doubts, consider that the two witnesses for the prosecution in the upcoming trial against the commissioner and AD are Paterno and McQueary, the two coaches who reported the crime.

92Alum on 1/7/2012 @ 3:59pm EDT Said:

I think the worst part was seeing the AD and current president of the University there. Both of those guys have forgotten what PSU is about and how you are suppose to handle yourselfs. I hope this hire works out, but I’m not convinced yet. Once there is some open dialogue at PSU I may change my mind, until then the media crucified the wrong man and I haven’t heard one apology to date.

Aaron Baldwin on 1/7/2012 @ 5:21pm EDT Said:

Hey Bob Jones…all that most of us ever asked for was for somebody to be allowed due process in court and to not take what’s said on ESPN as gospel. Open your eyes and ears and you might be surpised what PSU fans really feel.

bob jones on 1/7/2012 @ 6:01pm EDT Said:

To MicJames, I understand virtually everything has been handled exceptionally poorly, especially by Curly, Spanier and the police commissioner. I understand Joe reported to higher ups, but I do not believe he followed through to the best of his ability to make sure the ball was not dropped on these extremely heinous crimes. I feel very bad for Joe, it’s an extremely bad ending for a person I believe is a good man, but I also know that Joe was THE MAN at Penn St and he could have kept on with this issue to make sure it wasn’t swept under the rug, there is no one at that university with more clout than Joe Paterno. Could he or should he not have followed this to the very end to make sure this vicious criminal activity that had gone on in the Penn St facilities, on his watch, was stopped? This involved a man he hired , a man who worked for him for years, a man who then at basically the peak of his career, while supposedly being next in line for Joe’s job, just strangely and abruptly quit. Was this not because his activities had been discovered? That seems to be the most obvious explanation. Yet he still had full access to the university facilties. The really disturbing fact about the whole episode to me is that up until the whole story broke, Sandusky still had access to the facilities and was still seen working out there and still seen with young boys. That was right up to the day of his arrest. The people that knew of this, had seen or heard of the abuse had to have known it had not stopped because he was still there, he still was seen with young boys, and was still using the school’s facilities. Many people knew, why up until the day of his arrest was Sandusky still allowed access like he was? I haven’t heard a good explanation for that yet.

Penn State Clips on 1/7/2012 @ 6:43pm EDT Said:

“I understand Joe reported to higher ups, but I do not believe he followed through to the best of his ability to make sure the ball was not dropped on these extremely heinous crimes.”

There has been no testimony regarding what subsequent actions (if any) were taken by Joe Paterno. Any conclusions on your part are pure speculation.

bob jones on 1/7/2012 @ 8:49pm EDT Said:

No speculation needed friend. The facts are very simple. After Joe and other coaches and administrators first found out about these assaults, they still continued for many more years. That means people in positions of authority who had the capacity and the moral obligation to do whatever it took to make sure that it stopped, either did nothing or did not do enough. Those are the facts. Whatever was done to stop it, was not enough, because as we know it did not stop for quite some time, and there is no excuse in the world, ever, for grown adult men to find out about something like this and not put an immediate stop to it. Simply inexcusable, and I do not need to speculate on that.

Mic James on 1/8/2012 @ 10:23am EDT Said:

McQueary did testify in the prelim that Joe followed up with him to make sure MM was satisfied with the steps taken by Curley/Shultz. McQueary also testified that Joe eventually, “made it right.” Several people have leaked that Joe argued to have Sandusky banned from campus and was told he did not have that authority. He then tried to have him banned at least from the football facilities and was told he did not have that authority, either. So, we do not know what Joe was able to do that McQueary testified “made it right,” but I, for one, am looking forward to the day the trials are over and it can all come out so that people can judge the actions of another on facts rather than media hype and guilt by association.

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