According to numerous sources, New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien will be the first Penn State University head football coach not named Joe Paterno since 1965. Even though the actual university hasn't released an official statement, Paterno, in a statement sent through his family to The Associated Press, congratulated O'Brien on taking the job.
"I understand Bill O’Brien has been named head coach and I want to congratulate him on his appointment," Paterno said in a statement to the AP provided by his family. "I don’t know Bill, but I respect his coaching record, and I am particularly pleased we share a connection to my alma mater, Brown."
"Despite recent commentary to the contrary, Penn State football has always been about more than winning," Paterno added, citing what he said was the program’s commitment to education and community service. "I am hopeful this tradition will continue."
O'Brien coached the Patriots' offense to a No. 2 ranking at the end of the season and helped the team lock up the No. 1 seed in the AFC as the offensive coordinator in 2011 and if he can do something similar as the head coach of Penn State, the Nittany Lions could become a power house team in the Big Ten. It should also be noted that Paterno was already coaching at Penn State when O'Brien was born.
Penn State is expected to make an official statement on the hire as early as Saturday.