It appears the search that Penn State officials had termed “methodical and deliberate” has come to an end. Sources told ESPN that Bill O’Brien, offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, will be replacing former coach and hall-of-famer Joe Paterno.
While never having served as a head coach in neither a college nor the NFL O’Brien has a rather extensive coaching resume. O’Brien will see the Patriots’ season through, a league source told ESPN‘s Adam Schefter.
O’Brien joined the Patriots in 2007 after 14 seasons on the college level, which included stops at Duke Georgia Tech, and Maryland. He played college football at Brown.
While 2011 was O’Brien’s first year as coordinator for the Patriots’ high-flying offense, he worked with Tom Brady as the Patriots’ quarterback coach from 2009 to 2010, and spent 2008 coaching receivers.
“He’s been a great coach and friend. We have a great relationship; probably a very unique relationship in that we communicate all the time. I always enjoy working with him and he’s done an incredible job with this team and this offense,” Brady said on Sunday about O’Brien.
When asked if he would miss O’Brien’s coaching he added, “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope he’s here for a long time and I told him that, too.”
In the meantime, O’Brien has been working to put together his Penn State staff. Titans offensive
quality-control coach Charles London is said to be joining O’Brien, going to Penn State as the running backs’ coach, an NFL source told Schefter.
While terms of the deal are still unknown, the official announcement is planned to be made on Saturday, according to ESPN.
O’Brien will be the team’s first new head football coach in nearly a half-century. But will a new coach be enough to wipe away the stench left by last year’s sex abuse scandal at the school?