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.”

51 responses to “Bill O’Brien to stay at Penn State

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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…..

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

  24. 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?

  25. 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.

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

  27. 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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