Penn State's Bill O'Brien Quickly Bringing Together Coaching Staff

Penn State hired an outsider to replace Joe Paterno, bringing in New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien.

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80 Total Updates since November 11, 2011
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Ted Roof Will Be Penn State's Defensive Coordinator, According To Report

Ted Roof, already leaving Auburn for Central Florida, is now apparently headed to Happy Valley.

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Bill O'Brien Introduced As New Penn State Football Coach

Bill O'Brien was introduced as Penn State's next head coach in a press conference on Saturday, but he won't leave the New England Patriots until after the 2012 NFL playoffs.

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Penn State Officially Announces Bill O'Brien As Next Head Coach

The Penn St. Nittany Lions have officially announced that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be the next head coach of their football program.

O'Brien will be the 15th head coach in school history and replaces Joe Paterno, who was fired as part of the fallout over a sexual abuse scandal centered around former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

"The Penn State football program has a great legacy and has contributed enormously to our University community," PSU president Rodney A. Erickson said. "A program of this caliber requires a special kind of leader - a leader who will embrace that legacy and maintain the University's commitment to excellence on the field and in the classroom. We have that leader in Coach O'Brien, and I look forward to working with him in his new role."

O'Brien has 14 years of college coaching experience, working at Georgia Tech from 1995-2002, serving as the school's offensive coordinator the final two seasons before coaching at Maryland (2003-04) and Duke (2005-06). O'Brien has been with the Patriots since 2007, coaching the quarterbacks from 2009 and adding offensive coordinator duties prior to the 2011 season.

O'Brien is expected to remain with the Patriots during the playoff run.


"I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Penn State football program," stated O'Brien. "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. As head coach of this special football program, it is my responsibility to ensure that this program represents the highest level of character, respect and integrity in everything we do. That includes my coaching staff, our players and everyone involved in the football program. There is tremendous pride in Penn State football and will never, ever take that for granted."

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.

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Bill O'Brien Hired As Penn State Coach, Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Confirms

Here's the first official confirmation that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be introduced as the next head coach of the Penn St. Nittany Lions: Pats owner Robert Kraft has publicly congratulated him on the new gig. While PSU has yet to announce it -- they're expected to unveil O'Brien on Saturday -- Kraft's a pretty reliable source here, wouldn't you say?

Kraft to the Boston Herald:

"I'm sad to lose him. I told him that," Kraft said earlier this morning in a phone conversation with Karen Guregian. "We have a philosophy in our company, that if anyone has an opportunity and we can't match it - we did have the ability to deny him under our contract - but this is one of the great college coaching positions. they have their challenges right now.

"Billy is a very high quality guy, he's got integrity. he's honest, and I'm sad to see him go," Kraft went on, "but I think they've chosen wisely."

O'Brien was with New England since 2007, rising through the ranks and becoming offensive coordinator in 2011. Whatever may come of his college head coaching career, I think we can all comfortably assume he's indeed a person of integrity. That had to have been Penn State's No. 1 qualification for the job.

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.

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Bill O'Brien Interviewing For Penn State Coaching Job, Bill Belichick All But Confirms

New England Patriots offensive coordinator has been reported as the front-runner for the still-vacant Penn St. Nittany Lions head coaching job. He's reportedly becoming one of the very few candidates to earn an interview, which Pats coach Bill Belichick stopped short of confirming Thursday.

Still, Belichick noting that O'Brien wasn't at New England practice is the answer we need. The Patriots have a bye week, but offensive coordinators don't just skip practices during the NFL playoffs for no good reason.

O'Brien hasn't worked a college job since 2006, when he concluded a run of mostly position coaching jobs at various middlin' ACC schools. He has no head coaching experience, and only five years of coordinator experience.

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.

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Greg Schiano Still Not Interested In Penn State Job, According To Report

While Greg Schiano's name just doesn't seem to go away in connection with Penn State's coaching job, the Rutgers coach reportedly is still not interested. Schiano was once a Penn State assistant.

The desire to link Schiano to Penn State does make sense. In addition to being a former assistant, having spent six years there mostly as a defensive backs coach, some reports surfaced that a Penn State private jet had been visiting Schiano's neighborhood around Christmas. It would also make sense that Penn State would be looking to make a bit of a splash with the man they choose to replace the winningest coach in NCAA history, something Schiano's hiring would accomplish.

All that said, maybe this is all just smoke and no fire. You can't really blame guys like Schiano for wanting to steer clear of the situation.

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.

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Greg Schiano To Penn State Rumors Return, This Time With Flight Records

For years, Rutgers Scarlet Knights Greg Schiano was considered one of the top candidates to replace Joe Paterno as Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach. Shortly after Paterno's exit, he'd denied interest, but now that you mention it ... why did Greg Schiano rumors go away altogether, exactly?

StateCollege.com's Mike Poorman and our own Ben Jones report Schiano's name has stayed alive in the agent community in connection to Penn State, even though the public had moved on. The duo also report four recent visits by a PSU private jet to Schiano's neck of the woods since Dec. 26.

It's worth noting, as the report does, that a search committee member lives within range of those airports, so this isn't a dead giveaway that Schiano is soon to be hired. However, there's a good bit to go on if you'd like to think Penn State's at least looking beyond just the anonymous NFL assistant coach market for the man to replace the winningest coach in Division I football history.

Schiano's 68-67 at Rutgers, turning a three-wins-in-two-years operation into a program that's won five bowls in the last six years.

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivors. For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.

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Dan Mullen Top Penn State Coaching Candidate, According To Report

The most intriguing college football vacancy in the country: the Penn St. Nittany Lions head coaching job. How do you replace Joe Paterno? Almost all of the supposed candidates for the job have been entirely speculative, but ESPN's Joe Schad is reporting Mississippi St. Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen has emerged as the favorite.

Mullen's time in the SEC might make him seem like an outsider, but most of his coaching experience comes from Penn State's general vicinity. Mullen, age 39, coached in the Northeast and Midwest before following Urban Meyer from Bowling Green to Utah and then to Florida. He's also a Pennsylvania native whose wife is from Pittsburgh and whose father graduated from Penn State.

Whoever takes the PSU job will have the greatest mess in college sports history to help clean up, but also an enormous set of resources to put toward on-field success. Pairing Mullen in the same conference as new Ohio St. Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer would also probably make for a storyline or two.

For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries and SB Nation Pittsburgh, and here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Mike London, Penn State In Touch About Replacing Joe Paterno, According To Report

The Penn St. Nittany Lions contacted Virginia Cavaliers coach Mike London about replacing Joe Paterno, the Washington Post reports. Contact was made by Steve A. Garban, chairman of Penn State’s Board of Trustees, Wednesday before Paterno was fired, according to the report.

You won't be shocked to note London would reportedly prefer to continue rebuilding his home state's program rather than wade into the worst mess in college sports history, but if the report is accurate, then it's good to know what Penn State wants in its next coach, I guess.

Outside of a few stints in the pros and at other schools, London has very rarely left Virginia as a coach. He also worked as a Richmond police detective, which you can imagine would set some minds at ease in State College. 

Related: Jerry Sandusky fallout, replacing Joe Paterno, and Penn State's movement to support sexual abuse survivorsFor more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. More college football news.

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NCAA Comments On Penn State Scandal: 'We Will Determine Whether Bylaws Were Violated'

To some surprise, NCAA president Mark Emmert has commented on the disaster unfolding at Penn State University. Most had assumed Jerry Sandusky's alleged crime spree and the resulting apparent cover-up were outside of the NCAA's realm, but it looks like Emmert at least wants to make sure that's the case.

Here's Emmert:

Regarding the ongoing Penn State criminal investigation, the NCAA is actively monitoring developments and assessing appropriate steps moving forward. The NCAA will defer in the immediate term to law enforcement officials since this situation involved alleged crimes. As the facts are established through the justice system, we will determine whether Association bylaws have been violated and act accordingly. To be clear, civil and criminal law will always take precedence over Association rules.    

Penn State's mistakes didn't involve student-athletes, so it's hard to say exactly what the NCAA could rule on here. But as long as Penn State wants to play by the NCAA's rules, the NCAA can sort of do whatever it wants. The NCAA can't make Penn State shutter its football program, but it could find a reason to refuse to sanction it for a time, if it wanted to.

For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. Follow all of SB Nation's coverage of the Jerry Sandusky investigation in our StoryStream.

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Tom Bradley Press Conference: Mike McQueary To Remain As Coach

Tom Bradley, longtime Penn St. Nittany Lions defensive coordinator, was introduced as the team's interim coach at a Thursday morning press conference. Bradley is taking over for Joe Paterno, who you may have heard has coached in Happy Valley for 61 years. Paterno was fired Wednesday night due to the ongoing Jerry Sandusky scandal.

"I take this job with very mixed emotions," Bradley said, seated in front of a blue Nittany Lions backdrop and wearing a gold tie. He mentioned team meetings, hearing from former players who will attend on Saturday, planned meetings with recruits, and a captains' gathering in preparation of the Nebraska game.

"The football part, we'll get working on that right away," Bradley said, "For now, you should know our team's thoughts and prayers are with those children and their families."

Bradley said Mike McQueary, the former GA who reported the 2002 Sandusky allegation to Paterno, will remain in his capacity as an assistant, but didn't say where he'd be positioned in the stadium. He also declared Larry Johnson and Ron Vanderlinden will take over as co-coordinators on defense.

When asked about whether Penn State will play any games after the Nebraska game, he boggled a little bit. "What do you mean?" he said, eventually saying the rest of the season is up to the school's administration, but he hopes to finish it out. He said canceling games hasn't been discussed.

"Joe Paterno has meant more to me than anybody but my father," Bradley said, adding that he's comfortably coached on the sideline before with Paterno either in the press box or unavailable.

He also said, "Coach Paterno will go down in history as one of the greatest men -- most of you know him as a football coach -- I've had the privilege to work with him. He's had a dynamic impact on so many, so many -- I'll say I, so many -- people and player's lives. I'm proud to say that I worked with him."

He was asked many times about Paterno's exit, but declined to comment on the investigation, Sandusky, McQueary's role, his own future as a potential non-interim coach, Paterno's firing and so forth, deferring the McQueary question to acting athletic director Mark Sherburne.

For more on the Nittany Lions, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries. Follow all of SB Nation's coverage of the Jerry Sandusky investigation in our StoryStream.

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Urban Meyer Denies Report Of Penn State Contact

Former Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer was reported to be in casual touch with the Penn St. Nittany Lions about a potential upcoming coaching vacancy. The ESPN analyst denied the report to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"I'm not going to say anything about it," Meyer told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette upon arriving at Beaver Stadium to work the ABC/ESPN telecast of the Penn State-Iowa game. "There's no truth to the rumor."

Meyer has been linked via rumor and speculation with Penn State and with the Ohio St. Buckeyes job since, well, the moment he left Florida both times he left Florida. Though he's never really made a public comment that would lead one to conclude he's interested, it's hard to imagine he won't itch to coach another program at some point, especially one with which he already has personal connections.

For more on these schools, visit Penn State blog Black Shoe DiariesOhio State blog Along The Olentangy and Texas blog Burnt Orange Nation.

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