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Bill O’Brien to stay at Penn State


After strongly considering leaping to the NFL, Bill O’Brien has reportedly decided to stay at Penn State.

O’Brien interviewed with both the Browns and the Eagles but has decided not to consider either position — or any other position — and will remain the head coach at Penn State, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.

O’Brien was a well regarded offensive coordinator for the Patriots and became a hot head-coaching candidate when he led Penn State to an 8-4 record despite crippling NCAA sanctions in his first year as the Nittany Lions’ head coach. But while O’Brien was at least interested enough in leaving to take interviews, he’s going to stay the course at Penn State.

That leaves Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who is currently coaching in the Fiesta Bowl, as the candidate who is believed to be the first choice of both the Browns and the Eagles. If O’Brien is staying with Penn State, then Kelly just got even more leverage in contract negotiations.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m. ET: O’Brien told, “I’m not a one-and-done guy. I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”

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51 Responses to “Bill O’Brien to stay at Penn State”
  1. klumpofbrownsadness says: Jan 3, 2013 9:53 PM

    Even as a Browns fan, I can’t help but wonder if the Browns interview was what made up his mind to stay at PSU?

  2. bengalsstillsuck says: Jan 3, 2013 9:54 PM

    As a Browns fan im pretty upset we didnt grab this guy.

  3. dabearsk says: Jan 3, 2013 9:59 PM

    Penn State must have said “no soup for you” on letting him out of his contract..or that 8 million to crazy 18 million samolean penalty…I’m sure we will now get the proverbial “my heart has always been in happy valley” quote when he is asked how come he took his name out after going to two interviews…

  4. indyspeedo says: Jan 3, 2013 10:00 PM

    This goes to show a lot about his character. Bravo for doing such a great job and not jumping ship when it would be so easy to do with the sanctions against the school.

  5. burgandy2260 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:01 PM

    I think he’s been reading comments and realizing that if he jumped ship his credibility is gone. He’ll put 1 more year in at PSU and off he’ll go. Then he can leave with his head held high!

  6. Gordon says: Jan 3, 2013 10:02 PM

    Of course he is. That’s because word leaked, there’s no guarantee he’d get one of these NFL HC jobs, & his best recruits will start to bail, leaving him in a worse situation.

    BTW – isn’t every Patriots OC under Belichick well regarded…until they leave the nest & get exposed.

  7. mcjon22 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:02 PM

    If your on the Titanic and someone offers you a seat on a lifeboat, you take it.

    However, Cleveland is more like a life vest and a jump into 20 degree water

  8. prgsdw says: Jan 3, 2013 10:03 PM

    This is great news. As a PSU alum and season ticket holder, I am glad to see him stay with the Nittany Lions. A classy act and a great school. Glad to have you stay coach!

  9. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Jan 3, 2013 10:03 PM

    It was leverage the whole time. Saw an interview from today with a recruit who was not worried at all about O’Brien leaving. O’Brien wasn’t happy with some things about PSU and knew just how to get their attention.

  10. reebs33 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:04 PM

    If this is, in fact, his decision, then I have a ton of respect for the guy who is trying to give birth to a new legacy.

  11. fissels says: Jan 3, 2013 10:04 PM

    Good choice by O’Brien. If he can continue to produce wins and quality student/players then he should consider the NFL

  12. cappa662 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:04 PM

    To stay at PSU… for now.

  13. johnclaytonsponytail says: Jan 3, 2013 10:05 PM

    As he should. That community and team doesnt need someone in and out after a year.

  14. xpensivewinos says: Jan 3, 2013 10:07 PM

    I’d like to think he was reminded of the commitment he made to those kids (especially the ones he convinced to stay) that changed his mind, but who knows…..

  15. hor2012 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:09 PM

    In other words in went into the Browns interview and the owner said thanks for coming but were still going to hire Nick Saban

  16. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Jan 3, 2013 10:10 PM

    Shocker. After the teams told him that he’d have to pay THEM in order to coach due to the size of his buyout. This one never really had any legs.

  17. cbass59 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:13 PM

    So 3 years of bowl bans and lost scholarships, and approximately 7 years of rebuilding is better than more money to coach the browns.

    Actually, the browns have sort of been banned from bowls for the last 50 years and have been rebuilding for 2 decades.

  18. jrfrom508 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:13 PM

    Pats fan here – Can’t blame the guy… HA

  19. ncp2 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:14 PM

    i’m not sure i understand why he’s doing this… he can’t go to a bowl game for 3 more years yet… that combined with the cut in scholarships means less recruits. if i was him, i would run to the nfl as soon as possible.

  20. dcwal152 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:14 PM

    Even as an Eagles fan, I can’t help but wonder if the Eagles interview was made up his mind to stay at PSU?

  21. biggestredmiami says: Jan 3, 2013 10:16 PM

    “I am not taking my talents to Cleveland.”

  22. deebo92 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:17 PM

    A sigh of relief from a current PSU student. Thanks Bill!

  23. dannythebisforbeast says: Jan 3, 2013 10:17 PM

    That or a big fat check… Or integrity and wants to honor his word to his players. say it ain’t so

  24. weareluckytohavemikeflorio says: Jan 3, 2013 10:18 PM

    Who would want their NFL head coaching debut to be with Weeden or McCoy at QB. Destined for failure for sure.

  25. irishfan109 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:22 PM

    Good for him and good for Penn State.

  26. bringbackkosar says: Jan 3, 2013 10:26 PM

    I think he took a close look at the Cleveland QB situation and then moved smartly along

  27. delidawg says: Jan 3, 2013 10:26 PM

    Me thinks its the 9.2 million buyout thats keeping him at PSU.

  28. acinsd says: Jan 3, 2013 10:27 PM

    As a Browns and Penn St. fan I was torn, but couldn’t be happier he decided to stay in Happy Valley. What he is helping to do there goes beyond the field.

  29. hdmoyer says: Jan 3, 2013 10:28 PM

    He preached about being committed to the kids that stayed in the program and for him to get up and leave after one year would have said a lot about his integrity. PSU will (should) give him a nice pay increase and the NFL job will be there down the road.

  30. ajpolo8 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:30 PM

    And as an Eagles fan, although he was one of the candidates I really wanted, much respect to him for practicing what he preached to all of his players, finishing what you started & making the team/school’s needs bigger than your own.

  31. phillyphan72 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:36 PM

    That’s the guy I wanted from the start…disappointed to say the least

  32. raiderinva says: Jan 3, 2013 10:44 PM

    klumpofbrownsadness says: Jan 3, 2013 9:53 PM

    Even as a Browns fan, I can’t help but wonder if the Browns interview was what made up his mind to stay at PSU?

    I would probably point to the fact that Bill O’Brien took the job at Penn State well before the whole public known truth came out. Then I would look at the point that EVERY Penn State game this year was televised on National TV. They were fined a total of the money made over one major bowl, and the state is going to court to get that money back for a state college.

    If Bill O’Brien fails at Penn State everyone can blame the NCAA because of the “penalties” that were imposed. If Bill O’Brien continues to find success then he has over come the “penalties” from the NCAA, and is that great of a coach.

    Why would Bill O’Brien want to leave a win – win situation?

  33. stercuilus65 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:45 PM

    O’Brien told, “I’m not a one-and-done guy. I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that’s what I am going to do. I’m not gonna cut and run after one year, that’s for sure.”


    Obvious question comes to mind…. If that was the case why do the interviews at all?
    He must think people are idiots to say that after the interviews.

  34. rajbais says: Jan 3, 2013 10:49 PM

    Good man!!!

  35. stoutfiles says: Jan 3, 2013 10:50 PM

    And all of PSU learned that as soon as he can leave, he’s going to. He was hoping a team would pay the buyout but no takers.

    This is going to hurt him with future recruits. He should have never interviewed, he just showed his true colors.

  36. metalhead65 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:56 PM

    in other words they did not offer him enough money. is he supposed to be a good guy for honoring a contract he signed a year ago? if he was committed to the kids he recruited he would not have been listening to offers and interviewing. look for him to get a raise from penn state even though he just got a fat contract to coach them a year ago. if he is so loyal he won’t go thru the same charade again next year.

  37. coachglove says: Jan 3, 2013 10:57 PM

    The NFL isn’t going anywhere…if Bill stays and does well given the circumstances he is about to have to deal with, he will be able to pick what team he coaches for.

  38. oquintero99 says: Jan 3, 2013 10:58 PM

    I think the main issue is the buyot. A buyout plus the salary is a big chunk of money. I doubt Obrien would take a paycut in order for a team to buyout his contract.

  39. aosplayo says: Jan 3, 2013 11:03 PM

    Great news. He used this as a powerplay of sorts. Pegula (owner of Sabres and PSU donor of the new hockey rink) gave a 1.3 million dollar gift, which puts Obrien as the 3rd highest paid Big 10 coach.

    Im all for integrity, but clearly this was a business decision. Im happy for my fellow PSU Alumni, I don’t think I would’ve rooted for my Eagles if he left, but Im used to disappointment supplied by Philly coaches.

  40. photoguy13 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:04 PM

    I strongly doubt that the guy would have agreed to the interviews with several NFL teams if this were his initial thought. Something transpired that reminded him of his loyalty to PSU players. The huge buy out is probably what led to his “recommitment” to Penn State.

  41. canetic says: Jan 3, 2013 11:10 PM

    Dum dum.

  42. mojosmagic says: Jan 3, 2013 11:10 PM

    O’Brian used the NFL to get more money from Penn State. He was never leaving.

  43. dgcaz says: Jan 3, 2013 11:21 PM

    I still think that whole situation sucks; has anyone actually accepted some responsibility yet? And now the governor wants to sue? I wish the student body well, but I hope the football program suffers a hell of a lot more than it did this year. I know that sucks for the current players, but they could have left – why would anyone want to play for a program that allowed that crap to happen?

  44. coachbeck says: Jan 3, 2013 11:26 PM

    His buyout will lower, he will be gone in one or two years

  45. mcmuskie79 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:36 PM

    Guess O’Brien’s buyout really was a sticking point for the NFL.

  46. bigzant82 says: Jan 3, 2013 11:58 PM

    we browns fans didnt want him any way mr. haslam can you please send a plane for Jon Gruden already smh or at least interview Lovie Smith??
    also too all the Weeden why do ya hate on him for?
    he has skills Weeden is 3x better then McCoy so whats the beef for?

  47. andrewproughcfe says: Jan 4, 2013 12:39 AM

    Weeden or Foles?? Eh – back to college.

  48. skolvikes says: Jan 4, 2013 2:38 AM

    Interesting comment from a guy that took NFL interviews.

  49. justwinsomeday says: Jan 4, 2013 9:03 AM

    Kudos – finally someone practicing what he preaches, way to go coach!!!

    Oh and good job leveraging the interest into a fat raise, can’t blame you a bit for that – you’ve actually earned it. Win/Win for PSU and O’Brien.

  50. blackstonevalleykettlebells says: Jan 4, 2013 9:32 AM

    I guess Penn State feels they will win their suit in lifting the sanctions by giving him the extra million.

  51. nflfan4now says: Jan 4, 2013 9:45 AM

    This might not be as altruistic as it sounds, there are also reports that the Buffalo Sabre’s owner Terry Pegula donated $1.3 million in additional salary for him which helped change his mind…..

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