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Update: Penn State eyeing Pats coach; AD says ‘no deal with anybody’

Bill O'Brien, Tom Brady AP

UPDATED 7:01 p.m. ET: Speaking at a pep rally ahead of Penn State’s appearance in the TicketCity Bowl Monday, athletic director David Joyner, head of the school’s search committee, denied that any deal is in place with any coach to become the full-time replacement for Joe Paterno.

There is no deal with anybody,” Joyner said.

Multiple reports surfaced Sunday that New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien is on the verge of being named the Nittany Lions’ new head coach. Interim head coach Tom Bradley dismissed the speculation during a press conference earlier today.

“As far as rumors, I don’t pay much attention to them,” Bradley said in quotes distributed by the team. “You guys haven’t hit the jackpot yet.”


Names like Mike Munchak, Chris Petersen and Eric Mangini have littered the headlines in Penn State’s search for a new head coach, but it appears an individual with not nearly as much name recognition is close to landing the job.

According to Jonny Saraceno of USA Today, “only contract details need to be finalized” before Penn State names New England Patriots assistant Bill O’Brien as the football program’s new head coach.‘s Joe Schad reported Saturday that O’Brien would be a potential candidate if Munchak decided to remain with the Tennessee Titans.

Interim PSU head coach Tom Bradley and Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements were expected to get a second interview this coming week, although the fact that O’Brien is reportedly talking contract numbers with the school would make those interviews a moot point.

A graduate of Brown University like Joe Paterno, O’Brien has been with the Patriots since 2007.  Prior to the five-year stint in the NFL, O’Brien spent time on college staffs at Georgia Tech (1995-2002), Maryland (2003-04) and Duke (2005-06).

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12 Responses to “Update: Penn State eyeing Pats coach; AD says ‘no deal with anybody’”
  1. hdmoyer says: Jan 1, 2012 2:34 PM

    Not that I believe in this post because everyone but Bill Parcells has been listed as the next head coach at psu but if it is true it will be a great hire for them. Ivy grad with college and pro coaching experience and a Bill Bellichick disciple.

  2. chitownjeff says: Jan 1, 2012 2:44 PM

    Seemingly a good hire. Now he can go about the business of getting the football programs name out of the news for things like this..

    Next step is firing everyone in the building sad to say… it’ll be a Kremlin in the 60’s like purge..

  3. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jan 1, 2012 3:06 PM

    Too bad Tom Bradley has to go down with the rest of the staff (assuming he didn’t do anything wrong).

  4. stairwayto7 says: Jan 1, 2012 3:08 PM

    They are ironing out if it is for 6 or 7 years and what happens if PSU gets a long probation, which they should not! Sandusky and McQueary are gone..

  5. 700levelvet says: Jan 1, 2012 4:38 PM

    “Sandusky and McQueary are gone..”
    Really?….I’m not saying they shouldn’t totally clean house, but Sandusky hasn’t been on the staff since 1999….Thats 13 years ago…..Try and keep up…

  6. profootballwalk says: Jan 1, 2012 4:51 PM

    700levelvet says: Jan 1, 2012 4:38 PM

    “Sandusky and McQueary are gone..”
    Really?….I’m not saying they shouldn’t totally clean house, but Sandusky hasn’t been on the staff since 1999….Thats 13 years ago…..Try and keep up…


    Sandusky had keys to the building, and was around all the time. He SHOULD have been gone 13 years ago.

  7. drexelvol says: Jan 1, 2012 8:02 PM

    Hopefully the PSU football program will get the death penalty, but even the possibility of it, which there is, is certainly going to influence anyone taking the job.

    I just don’t see how anyone with any kind of name or reputation would consider taking a job an institution that allowed that to go on.

  8. orthomarine says: Jan 1, 2012 8:17 PM

    How many times will the Pats cycle O-Coord to the college ranks? It’s not the O-Coord that makes the Pats good…It’s Tom Brady…..

  9. 10of14 says: Jan 1, 2012 8:29 PM

    This guy’s college credentials are very weak; come on, which one of those schools did jack crap under him? Ok, now you want to call me out on his tenure with the Patriots…he has done less than Charlie Weis did with the Pats…’nough said…bad, desperate hire (money is an issue with lawsuits, so no big name wants it).

  10. 1ncrev says: Jan 1, 2012 9:04 PM

    O’Brien is a solid coaching hire. No baggage from previous stops as an assistant. Young enough to relate to high schooler’s, yet solid credentials. No ties to PSU program. Will clean house and rebuild program from ground up.

  11. 10of14 says: Jan 1, 2012 10:52 PM

    Hey Brutusbuckeye, back off; you guys punked Fickell…treated him like crap.

  12. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Jan 2, 2012 11:27 AM

    Back off from what? All I did was offer sympathy for Bradley.

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