Bill O’Brien Takes Over as Head Coach for Penn State

Bill O’Brien – Bill O’Brien has agreed to become the new head coach at Penn State, an NFL source said. The former New England Patriots offensive coach will fill the shoes of legendary coach Joe Paterno and attempt to right a once-glory-filled program. The announcement came on Thursday.

Paterno was forced out after 61 years as part of a house cleaning associated with allegations of child sex abuse by a former assistant.

The fiery O’Brien, who missed Patriots practice yesterday to interview all day in State College, will replace Paterno. What once seemed far-fetched is now a reality.

It leaves a huge void for the Patriots, who lost an offensive coordinator and a quarterbacks coach. There isn’t a clear front-runner in-house, and the return of Josh McDaniels is a possibility. As for O’Brien, he will stick around through the playoffs as Charlie Weis did in 2004.

Quarterback Tom Brady [stats] and O’Brien drew national headlines a few weeks ago with a sideline argument in Washington that called attention to the job O’Brien had been doing with the high-powered offense. They ended the game hugging.

“I always enjoy working with him,” Brady said. “I hope he’s here for a long time and I told him that too.”

O’Brien is a former offensive coordinator at Duke, but he had sought an NFL job. When none materialized he turned his attention to Penn State.

I’m not saying he might not end up at Penn State,” agent Joe Linta said Sunday, “but not at the expense of talking to somebody else (in the NFL).”

Coach Bill Belichick has praised O’Brien since his name came up about the PSU job Sunday. Belichick said at practice they made up for O’Brien’s absence “collectively. We’ll do all the things that we need to do.”