Skip to content

Bill O’Brien takes home Bear Bryant award

Bill O'Brien AP

For the fourth time since the 2012 regular season ended, Bill O’Brien has received a national honor for the coaching job he did at Penn State under less-than-ideal circumstances.

At a gala in Houston, Tex., Thursday night, it was announced that O’Brien was selected as the recipient of the 2012 Bear Bryant Coach of the Year award.  In its 27th year, the award is named in honor of the iconic head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Last year’s winner was Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy.

“This is a huge honor for the Penn State program, for a great group of players and a great coaching staff,” O’Brien said in a statement. “The other coaches here are phenomenal coaches who have done this for a long time. I’ve only done this for a year. It shows what type of coaching staff and the type of players we had this year. It is a program award.”

In his first season with the Nittany Lions, and in the initial phase of stifling NCAA sanctions, O’Brien led Penn State to an 8-4 record overall and 6-2 in Big Ten play.  The only conference losses were to division winners Nebraska and Ohio State.

Following the bowl-less 2012 season, O’Brien’s name was connected to multiple head-coaching vacancies at the NFL level.  After at least two interviews with pro clubs, O’Brien announced earlier this month that he would be returning to the Nittany Lions.

In addition to this award, O’Brien has received coach-of-the-year honors from the prestigious Maxwell Club and the Big Ten as well as ESPN since season’s end.

Ironically enough, the first recipient of Bryant award in 1986 was Joe Paterno, the disgraced icon who O’Brien replaced last year in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex abuse scandal.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Big Ten Conference, Penn State Nittany Lions, Rumor Mill, Top Posts
11 Responses to “Bill O’Brien takes home Bear Bryant award”
  1. sanduskyshowerboy says: Jan 18, 2013 10:27 AM

    you go, girl

  2. gripless says: Jan 18, 2013 11:45 AM

    Maybe he can renegotiate his contract a 5th time in one year now!

  3. mungman69 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:04 PM

    Good luck, you’ll need it.

  4. raysfan1 says: Jan 18, 2013 1:33 PM

    That’s a lot of awards when the team was predicted by most to go 6-6 or 7-5. Outperforming expectations by one game or so generally does not bring that level of accolade. Really should have gone to Bill Snyder or Brian Kelly. This year is when the scholarship and recruiting restrictions take effect. If they go 8-4 again, then he will have really done an amazing job.

  5. delashmit says: Jan 18, 2013 2:00 PM

    As they say at Penn State, “We are Penn State.”

    I may agree somewhat on Bill Snyder bur no way does Brian Kelly deserve this award or any other award.

  6. Deb says: Jan 18, 2013 2:11 PM

    Yeah, I have to second delashmit. I’d been singing Brian Kelly’s praises for bringing Notre Dame back to prominence. Turns out they were an imaginary team boosted by an imaginary linebacker pricking hearts on the story of an imaginary dying girlfriend. Now … despite buckets of evidence that he was in on the hoax, Notre Dame is claiming he was a po’ lil victim … and by the way, that’s why we didn’t play well in the title game.

    The whole thing is disgusting.

  7. stairwayto7 says: Jan 18, 2013 3:24 PM

    disgraced icon? How dare u!

  8. eidolon21 says: Jan 18, 2013 6:58 PM

    well earned and deserved award for Bill OB
    I dont think he had 85 scholarship players this year so this was quite an accomplishment

  9. gershonpsu says: Jan 18, 2013 8:03 PM

    Referring to Joe Paterno as the “disgraced icon” is self replicating media bias. Coach Paterno will be fully vindicated when all the evidence is presented in court. Until then, the pundits should concentrate on extricating themselves from the Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o fiascos.

  10. eidolon21 says: Jan 18, 2013 8:16 PM

    Paterno’s “guit” is established as firmly by the media as the media established the death of Te’os girlfriend no research just a repetition of incorrect staements that support a story the media wants to be true

  11. raysfan1 says: Jan 18, 2013 10:24 PM

    @Deb and delashmit–
    I for one expected Alabama to throttle ND. Also, a number of their opponents during the regular season turned out to be weaker than the pundits predicted. Nonetheless, the Irish vastly outperformed expectations. I listed Kelly in my previous post for that reason only.

    I could have also listed Urban Meyer and frankly several others I think we’re more deserving than O’Brien.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!