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

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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.