The NFL assistant coach took the Penn State job in 2012 following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. He took over for legendary head coach Joe Paterno and coached the team to a 8-4 record in his first season. In his first year as a head coach at any level, O'Brien was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year and earned multiple national coaching awards.
O'Brien was hired before the NCAA imposed strict sanctions upon the program, including the loss of 40 scholarships over a four-year period as well as a four-year postseason ban. Those sanctions have since been reduced somewhat.
The Philadelphia Eagles were interested in O'Brien last season to replace Andy Reid, but he decided to return to Penn State for at least one more season. The Nittany Lions went 7-5 in his second year, including an upset of Wisconsin.
Reportedly, the Houston Texans have already contacted O'Brien about the possibility of replacing Gary Kubiak. The Minnesota Vikings have apparently reached out in an bid to gauge possible candidates to replace current coach Leslie Frazier.