College Football

Bill O'Brien Reportedly Staying at Penn State After Flirtation With NFL

STATE COLLEGE, PA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Penn State Nittany Lions walkls off the field after losing 24-14 to the Ohio Bobcats at Beaver Stadium on September 1, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Ethan GrantAnalyst IJanuary 4, 2013

After what probably seemed like an eternity in State College, it appears Bill O'Brien has chosen not to pursue an NFL head coaching job at this time.

According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, O'Brien is officially staying at Penn State after leading the program to an 8-4 record during its first season under a four-year NCAA bowl ban.

Bill O'Brien is staying at Penn State after NFL pursuit

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) January 4, 2013

"I'm not a one-and-done guy," said O'Brien in an interview with Penn Live's David Jones Thursday evening. "I made a commitment to these players at Penn State and that's what I am going to do. I'm not gonna cut and run after one year, that's for sure."

Things got pretty dark early Thursday when reports leaked that O'Brien had already interviewed with the Cleveland Browns and that they and the Philadelphia Eagles were likely going to scoop up either O'Brien or Chip Kelly in their respective coaching searches.

The former New England Patriots offensive coordinator has seen his name thrown around quite a bit in recent days. He successfully guided a Nittany Lions team that lost several key players to transfer and had no bowl game to play for in his first year on the job.

Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Mary Kay Cabot had the earlier report on O'Brien's interview with the Browns.

Breaking: The #Browns interviewed Penn State coach Bill O'Brien this week, a source told the Plain Dealer today.

— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) January 3, 2013

However, those reports are now outdated and it appears O'Brien will continue on the rebuilding path of  a torn-down Nittany Lions program.

The school was hit hard in a whirlwind period that involved the Jerry Sandusky scandal, the NCAA sanctions that followed, the serious blow to Joe Paterno's legacy, and, finally, the death of JoePa.

O'Brien stepped in and is now the face of a program that went 6-2 in Big Ten play and has even managed to salvage the 2013 recruiting class with top-flight recruits like QB Christian Hackenberg.

Bill O'Brien's emotion and love for the university have carried over to the locker room and the field, and his choice to stay in State College is great for both Penn State and the Big Ten. Time will tell if he can build on what has been a statement season for the Nittany Lions.

 

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team.


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