Penn State University has chosen New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien to be its next head football coach and the man who will try to rebuild a program that was rocked last fall by a scandal that cost legendary coach Joe Paterno the job, ESPN reports. The sports network says an announcement is expected to be made Saturday.
“Penn State coaches contacted by The Associated Press said they had not received any word late Thursday night about O’Brien or anything else related to the two-month long search to replace Hall of Famer Joe Paterno. The Nittany Lions’ leader for 46 seasons was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
“O’Brien has no apparent ties to Penn State.”
Harrisburg’s Patriot-News reports that:
“Penn State players and former players reacted Thursday night to the report of O’Brien joining the PSU program on Twitter.
” ‘Well, alright then,’ tweeted former PSU quarterback Daryll Clark. ‘If this is true, then welcome, Bill O’Brien. Let’s get to work.’
” ‘Welcome Coach O’Brien!’ tweeted PSU tailback Silas Redd.
” ‘As long as he brings the same type of offense … welcome, Bill,’ joked PSU tight end Garry Gilliam, a Milton Hershey graduate, on Twitter.”
Officially, Penn State spokesmen are telling news outlets that they have no comment.
Sandusksy, a former Penn State assistant football coach, faces 50 charges related to alleged sexual abuse of 10 young boys over the course of more than a decade. Some of the incidents allegedly happened on campus. He says he’s innocent. Paterno and Penn State President Graham Spanier lost their jobs because a grand jury reported there was evidence that they had been told about Sandusky’s alleged crimes but did not alert police.