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Report: Former Penn State Head Coach Bill O’Brien To Be Named Ohio State Offensive Coordinator

Now the enemy.

Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien runs on to the field.COLLEGE FOOTBALL Penn State Nittany Lions vs Michigan Wolverines in a Big Ten matchup at Beaver Stadium, State College.Photo by Jeremy Drey10/12/2013 Photo By Jeremy Drey/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

After one season with the New England Patriots, former Nittany Lion head coach Bill O’Brien is back in college football and it’s with a team on the Penn State schedule in 2024: the Ohio State Buckeyes.

O’Brien spent seven seasons as the Houston Texans head coach before spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons as Alabama’s offensive coordinator. With the Crimson Tide, O’Brien helped Bryce Young win the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore and eventually get drafted No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers in the 2023 NFL Draft. He made the jump back to the NFL ranks to serve as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, but with Bill Belichick and Jerod Mayo in, O’Brien is coming back to the college game.

Obviously for Penn State fans, this is a weird one. It’s not everyday your former head coach becomes an assistant coach at your direct competition. I’ll always love and cherish the moments with BOB, but the idea of seeing him come into Beaver Stadium with scarlet and grey next season...gross.

Oddly enough, the college football world does *not* seem to love this hire for the Buckeyes.

Personally, I think O’Brien is a fine hire, though it certainly isn’t the sexy hire Ohio State fans might have been hoping for. More than anything though, I think he’s a weird fit with where this Ohio State offense was trending. Sure they get Emeka Egbuka back, but with Quinshon Judkins transferring, TreVeyon Henderson coming back, and Will Howard making the move from Kansas State, this offense seems like it’d be more of a run-focused spread attack. Not sure O’Brien totally fits with that.

Either way, imagine saying in January 2012 that Bill O’Brien and Larry Johnson Sr. would still be coaching with each other at a college program. Weird how life goes.