The awards continue rolling in for Penn State Football a few days after the season finale.
Fresh off Jordan Hill and Sam Ficken winning weekly conference awards and several Nittany Lion players taking home end of the year accolades last night, head coach Bill O’Brien has been named Big Ten Coach of the Year by both the media and fellow coaches.
After his first season in Happy Valley, which concluded with an 8-4 record that exceeded most expectations, O’Brien received both the Hayes-Schembechler award (coaches vote) and the Dave McClain award (media vote).
“It’s obviously very humbling,” O’Brien said, praising his assistants and players during his first year.
Being the only coach in the conference with no head coaching experience at any level before the season, this is quite an honor for O’Brien who beat out some other accomplished coaches including two-time national champion Urban Meyer who led the Ohio State Buckeyes to an undefeated season.
A decent case can be made here for Meyer. He posted the better record and was victorious in Beaver Stadium, but this award often considers outside factors including surrounding distractions and challenges. Over the past eleven months, O’Brien conquered many on his path to this honor.