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Report: Former Penn State HC Bill O’Brien On the Verge of Becoming BC HC

Update (2:12 p.m.)— **Boston College is expected to make a decision by the weekend, per ESPN’s Pete Thamel.


Bill O’Brien’s return to Penn State and Beaver Stadium might have to wait a little longer.

Or a lot longer.

Last month, Ohio State, which plays Penn State in Happy Valley Nov. 2, hired the former PSU head coach as offensive coordinator.

But plans change sometimes, and that’s been the case at Boston College over the past week. In a move that surprised many, BC coach Jeff Hafley left to become the Green Bay Packers’ defensive coordinator. It didn’t take long for O’Brien’s — who didn’t play and hasn’t yet coached at BC and any capacity but was born in Boston and grew up roughly a half hour away in Andover— name to come up.

Monday morning, less than a week after news broke of the BC job opening up, the Boston Herald reported that O’Brien is on the verge of taking it.

O’Brien has plenty of head-coaching experience, and it started at Penn State.

Having to succeed the legendary Joe Paterno and guide a program that was rocked by scandal and sanctions, O’Brien not only kept Penn State from becoming becoming a national laughingstock on the field, but kept it a winning program.

Penn State went 8-4 in O’Brien’s first season and 7-5 in his second.

That success impressed the NFL’s Houston Texans, who made O’Brien their next head coach. He held that job for almost seven seasons, and Houston won the AFC South four times in that period. After his dismissal during the 2020 season, O’Brien returned to my college ranks, this time as an offensive coordinator. In his first season at Alabama, O’Brien helped QB Bryce Young to the Heisman Trophy.

He stayed at Bama through the ‘22 season, then returned to the NFL in the same role he left to take the Penn State job. O’Brien spent the 2023 season as New England’s offensive coordinator.

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