The Penn State head coach is staying in Happy Valley, as first reported by Adam Caplan. O’Brien led the Nittany Lions to a surprising 8-4 record in 2012, despite starting the season 0-2 after losing to Ohio and Virginia.
“I’m not a one-and-done guy,” O’Brien told David Jones of PennLive.com. “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.”
O’Brien came to Penn State from the New England Patriots, where he served as offensive coordinator for the 2011 season. Before being promoted to that position, he was Tom Brady‘s quarterback coach in 2009 and 2010. The Penn State job is O’Brien’s first as a head coach. He had served as an assistant at Brown, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke before coming to the NFL.
O’Brien has a tough road to hoe in front of him at Penn State. The Nittany Lions have three years left of a four-year bowl ban. They were also hit with a loss of 10 scholarships per year for four years, with a limit of 65 scholarship athletes from the usual 85 from 2014 to 2018.
It’s entirely possible that 2012’s 8-4 season will be O’Brien’s best with Penn State. The loss of scholarship athletes will severely hinder his chances of putting together the best team he can. O’Brien’s decision to stay shows loyalty, but this also might have been his best chance to return to the NFL.
Still, while many college head coaches will jet for the pros as early as possible, it shows a lot of character for O’Brien to see it through with the Nittany Lions. It will take a few more seasons like 2012’s to rebuild the Penn State program, and O’Brien’s decision to stay shows that he wants to put the work in to do just that.
Photo via Facebook/Onward State
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