Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien isn’t like others who hold his title.
Not to many Division I offensive coordinators have been the head coach of a Power Five school before, and even fewer have been in charge of an NFL team.
O’Brien has done both of those things. He was the head coach at Penn State in 2012 and ’13 and then moved on to the pros, where he coached the Houston Texans for seven seasons.
In his first season working under Nick Saban, O’Brien has added to his resume by helping quarterback Bryce Young to a Heisman Trophy, and would further add to it if the Tide can beat Georgia this coming Monday and win another national championship.
With O’Brien already having a solid coaching pedigree, as well as the fact that three of Saban’s previous four offensive coordinators have left Tuscaloosa to become Power Five head coaches, it’s inevitable for his name to be linked to head coaching jobs.
It’s also inevitable that he’ll be asked about it. When O’Brien was asked about the process of mulling other job opportunities, his answer was what one would expect; right now, he’s just focused on Georgia.
“It’s one of those things that happens all the time,” O’Brien said. “It’s part of the career, part of what you sign up for. My focus has always been on the task at hand. That’s just the way I operate.”
O’Brien has been linked to the LSU and Virginia Tech jobs in the past few months. Yesterday, when news broke of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh possibly looking to move to the NFL, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg tweeted that O’Brien could be a candidate to replace Harbaugh should he depart.
If Harbaugh left, would expect #Alabama offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien to generate some traction for the job. He would have been a serious candidate after the 2020 season if Michigan and Harbaugh parted ways. There are internal options, too (Gattis, Hart).
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 5, 2022
It seems a good bet that O’Brien will be a head coach again soon. He has more than eight seasons of high-level head coaching experience under his belt and is still relatively young for his profession at 52.
Right now, however, his only job is to help Saban win his eighth national championship.
“We’ve put so much work into this, and really, if you’re here, if you’re able to follow us around for a week, your focus is completely on Georgia and your team and what you have to do to try to help do your part to help your team win,” he said. So that’s what the focus is.”