Bill O’Brien Introduced as Head Football Coach
Bill O’Brien officially met the media in a Saturday morning press conference at the Nittany Lion Inn. Accompanied by his wife and one of his two sons, who was wearing a Silas Redd jersey, he laid out his appreciation and plans for the future of the Penn State football program.
The first words O’Brien said as he took the podium were, “This is unbelievable.” He continued, “There is so much pride in Penn State, and we will never, ever take that for granted, ever.”
After getting formalities out of the way, O’Brien got right into his coaching philosophy and on-field plans. “We will work extremely hard to be a good situational football team,” O’Brien said. He also announced that current defensive line coach Larry Johnson would be retained in the same position, which seems to be a widely popular move with current players and the fan base.
Another popular move that O’Brien made was addressing former coach Joe Paterno. “There will never been enough words to say what he did for this program,” O’Brien said. He also said he wants to meet Paterno as soon as possible.
As previously reported, O’Brien plans to stay on with the Patriots through the playoffs. “There’s no way I can talk about loyalty and commitment and leave the Patriots,” O’Brien said. Penn State fans should be rooting even harder than normal against the Patriots in the playoffs to get O’Brien here full-time. O’Brien also said he plans to have a staff in place within 2-3 days to handle recruiting and day-to-day tasks until the Patriots season is over.
O’Brien says he hasn’t spoken to current players yet, but plans to do so tomorrow during an optional team meeting. He will also meet with the current staff tomorrow. He said, “I’ve got to do that. Those guys have worked their butts off for Penn State.”
Penn State released details regarding his contract, which initially said he would make a $950,000 base salary per year plus incentives over five years. This seemed shockingly low, and it was later determined that the deal would amount to approximately $2.3 million annually, including incentives.
For better or for worse, the O’Brien era at Penn State is now officially upon us.