Bill O’Brien, the Blue Band, and the Alma Mater
You’ve probably heard about Bill O’Brien’s hot start to the recruiting season (see here, here, here, and here). You’ve probably heard of his prior success in the pros with New England. What you might not have heard much about thus far is Coach O’Brien’s smooth transition into the way of life of “Dear Old State.” At the Blue Band’s annual banquet last Sunday, Coach O’Brien approached Blue Band director Dr. Bundy about having the football team join the Band in singing the Alma Mater after each home football game.
However, according to Blue Band drum major Ian Kenney, “a lot more planning and logistics needs to be worked out”; for instance, the impact of this idea on the band’s current post-game performance must be considered.
The general sentiment seems to be that Coach O’Brien, beyond his success in bringing in highly-touted recruits, has really proven that he is what Penn State was looking for–a coach that is respectful of the longstanding traditions of Penn State football and is willing to build on those traditions with new and innovative ways of expressing what Penn State is truly about.
Kenney, speaking on the impact of Coach O’Brien so far, said that he was “thrilled that [Coach O’Brien] took the time out of his schedule to come tell us how excited he is to hear us” and that “[O’Brien] wants to include us more into the gameday experience.”
Barring any logistical setbacks, it seems that we will have a new football tradition on our hands, as well as a great coach and new member of the Penn State family in Bill O’Brien.