Despite the many rumors of head coach Bill O’Brien leaving Penn State to take a more prestigious job elsewhere, the first-year head coach plans on returning to the sidelines in Happy Valley in 2013.
O’Brien was recently on a radio show in Atlanta, stating his claim in the Nittany Lions, saying he would be back the following season at least.
“I plan on being the head football coach at Penn State (in 2013),” O’Brien said Tuesday in an interview with 790 AM “The Zone” in Atlanta. “That’s my plan and that’s what I intend to do.”
If I would have said before the season that the Nittany Lions would finish with eight wins, people would claim insanity on my part. Following week two when Penn State fell to 0-2, my prediction would look even more bleak. However, the Nittany Lions reeled off five straight wins, including victories against Northwestern, at Illinois and at Iowa, and became the talk of the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions are facing a four-year bowl ban and is currently in its first season of the punishment. Many believed that if O’Brien continued the success that he had through the first seven games of the season, he would be looking elsewhere for employment.
O’Brien currently has eight years remaining in his coaching contract with Penn State and with the loss of 15 scholarships per year for the next four seasons, he has his work cut out for him.
He has proven to be one of the best and most underrated coaches in the conference, if not the nation, and will continue to instill the toughness and tenacity that his team showed this season, finishing the season with the second best conference record.
If he can turn a team with seemingly no hope and motivation into an 8-4 team after one season of sanctions, imagine what he can do once the sanctions are lifted. There will always be a place for O’Brien in Happy Valley.