Coach Bill O’Brien May Bring Positive Change to Lions

Posted on March 7, 2012 by


After the November dismissal (and subsequent death) of Joe Paterno, there were many questions about who would take over the head coaching position at Penn State. Would Interim Head Coach Tom Bradley take over the position?

As it turns out, Penn State had someone else in mind. That someone is Bill O’Brien.

“I am thrilled to be head coach of the Penn State football program,” O’Brien said. “I cannot tell you how excited I am to get started, meet the team, meet the football alumni, and meet all of the people that make this university so special.”

O’Brien has some college coaching experience, but it is not quite to the standards of some Penn State fans. He was an assistant coach for 14 seasons at Georgia Tech, Maryland, and Duke. During his two years at Duke, the Blue Devils had one of the worst offenses in the nation, with a record of 1-21.

“I watched the press conference when Bill O’Brien was introduced as the new head coach and was very impressed,” said Physical Education and Heath teacher, former Penn State offensive tackle Eric Jonassen. “I believe that Coach O’Brien, who is an offensive-minded coach, will turn Penn State into more of an offensive power house. He has strong connections with the NFL, so I think that might be attractive to a young recruit in high school. Penn State has never really been known as a passing team. With the hiring of Coach O’Brien, I think that will change, also making Penn State more attractive to top high school quarterbacks and receivers.”

Bill O’Brien’s NFL record is a bit better. O’Brien has been a part of the New England Patriots’ coaching staff since 2007. In four of his five years with them, the Patriots made it into the postseason and have made two appearances in the Super Bowl.

“I understand Bill O’Brien has been named head coach, and I want to congratulate him on his appointment,” Joe Paterno said in a statement issued to the Associated Press prior to his death. “I don’t know Bill, but I respect his coaching record, and I am particularly pleased we share a connection to my alma mater, Brown.”

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