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Tom O’Brien out as North Carolina State’s coach

Tom O'Brien AP

Well, this is unexpected. Maybe. I think. I honestly can’t tell. Either way, add another school to this year’s coaching carousel.

North Carolina State is only one day removed from a 27-10 win over Boston College to put the Wolfpack at a perennial 7-5 on the year. Perhaps it is for that very reason that Wolfpack coach Tom O’Brien is now out of a job. In a news release Sunday, the university announced that O’Brien has been fired after six years on the job.

Interestingly enough, O’Brien coached at BC from 1997-2006 before taking over as NC State’s head coach. Turns out, the Eagles would be his final opponent.

“Coach O’Brien’s service to NC State over the last six years has been sincerely appreciated by Wolfpack Nation,” athletic director Debbie Yow said in a statement. “We especially appreciate his attention toward NCAA rules compliance, a value that will continue to be held by NC State. We wish him well in future pursuits.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to have coached at North Carolina State University and I feel that the program is in a better place now than when I started,” said O’Brien.  “I’m proud of the young men that I have coached here, for their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom.  Wolfpack football is as sound academically as it’s ever been with a [single year] APR of 990 to be reported this spring.  I appreciate all of my coaches and wish them the best and I look forward to life after football.”

O’Brien’s time at NC State was filled with ups and downs. For every win over a Florida State or Clemson, there was a loss to Virginia, Boston College or Wake Forest.

Offensive coordinator Dana Bible will serve as interim coach for the Wolfpack’s bowl game.  A search for a new head coach will begin immediately. The first name being connected to the vacancy is Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. Franklin was Maryland’s offensive coordinator under Ralph Friedgen when Yow was the AD at the university. Franklin was supposed to be the coach-in-waiting before departing for Vandy.

O’Brien compiled a 40-35 overall record and a 22-26 record in the ACC during his time at NC State. His contract runs through Dec. 2015, and he will be paid a minimum of $1.2 million over those next three years.

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11 Responses to “Tom O’Brien out as North Carolina State’s coach”
  1. raysfan1 says: Nov 25, 2012 2:08 PM

    This is a surprise to me.

    I expect to see Franklin’s name kicked around a lot after the job he’s done at Vanderbilt. However, if I were him, I’d say a polite “no” unless the $ offered was just insane. Vandy is a better team in a better league than NC State.

  2. v2the4 says: Nov 25, 2012 2:50 PM

    I agree…franklin can win seven or eight games at Vandy, beat Tennessee and the admin and fans will be elated….going to a school like NC state serves no purposes, because they will look for immediate results, and are looking to elevate their program to florida state status…

    nc state will probably go after UCF’s football coach George O’Leary

  3. alefty says: Nov 25, 2012 2:58 PM

    Let’s pull an oldie but “shouldie” – Steve Logan.

  4. houndofthebaskervols says: Nov 25, 2012 3:06 PM

    Franklin’s new contract is in the realm of “No f’in way NC State can match it.” And he’ll probably get an extension and another raise if Vandy does what they havent done in 100 years…. win 9 games.

    State’s best bet is to hire a young coordinator. Plenty of them out there to choose from, just roll the dice.

  5. jimbo75025 says: Nov 25, 2012 3:20 PM

    v2the4 says:
    Nov 25, 2012 2:50 PM
    nc state will probably go after UCF’s football coach George O’Leary

    Scarily enough, if O’Leary could convince Friedgen to come work for him again-that might not be a bad option. Those two did a good job at GT back in the day before O’Leary “fudged” his transcript.

  6. thefiesty1 says: Nov 25, 2012 3:26 PM

    Wasn’t expecting this one. Maybe their not just a BB school after all.

  7. cabby782 says: Nov 25, 2012 6:11 PM

    Shoud have fired him when he ran Russell Wilson out of the program. Doesn’t show much football smarts

  8. larrybrown43 says: Nov 25, 2012 7:20 PM

    Some programs are just meant to be lower tier. Sometimes you get a good class but it’s fleeting. Other times, you’re never relevant.

  9. serenaundercover says: Nov 25, 2012 7:32 PM

    As a girl who saw him play at Portland State, and then turn around Hawaii and SMU. June Jones. He turned around the doormat Warriors and Mustangs. He can take the Wolf Pack to the next level. Can’t hold his NFL record against him. Ownership gave him Jeff George in Atlanta and Ryan Leaf in San Diego. Lombardi couldn’t have gotten anymore out of Jeff George and Ryan Leaf.

  10. epie3 says: Nov 25, 2012 11:08 PM

    Chad Morris of Clemson would be a good candidate. And if they really want Franklin, the money will be there. NC State has already spent alot of money making their facilities the best in the ACC. Vanderbilt will have a harder time competing with Alabama, LSU, Georgia and Florida than NC State will competing against FSU and Clemson.

  11. circuscivics says: Nov 26, 2012 2:43 PM

    serenaundercover says:

    ” Can’t hold his NFL record against him. Ownership gave him Jeff George in Atlanta and Ryan Leaf in San Diego. Lombardi couldn’t have gotten anymore out of Jeff George and Ryan Leaf.”

    Coaches do have significant input on their draftees. I doubt that managament would draft personnel that the coach has serious reservations about. Therefore, he should own his NFL record.

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