Four days after his agent said that Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien’s dream is “to be an NFL coach,” O’Brien has opted to press pause on that ambition to take on perhaps the biggest challenge in all of college football.
Per multiple reports, O’Brien will become the next head coach at Penn State.
Largely unknown until his December 11 sideline shouting match with Tom Brady, O’Brien will try to fill the shoes of Joe Paterno while at the same time carrying the anchor that Paterno’s top lieutenant, Jerry Sandusky, dropped onto the entire program. With the recruiting class in shambles, O’Brien’s immediate task will be to try to convince high-school students and their parents to choose to spend the next four or five years as part of one of the most daunting reclamation projects in all of college football.
O’Brien, 42, attended Brown University and has no prior ties to Penn State.
It’s currently unknown whether O’Brien will immediately leave the Patriots, or whether he’ll split time between the two jobs, as Charlie Weis did after he accepted the Notre Dame job in early 2005.