Former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien joining Ohio State coaching staff

Well, this is about to get a little weird. In need of an experienced offensive coordinator, Ohio State is reportedly set to hire former Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien to call the offense under head coach Ryan Day. The news came from Pete Thamel, via X (formerly known as Twitter) of ESPN on Thursday evening.

O’Brien will join the Ohio State coaching staff after spending the 2023 season as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the New England Patriots, a role he held prior to his being hired by Penn State in 2012.

O’Brien became available as the Patriots ushered in a new era with Bill Belichick no longer being the head coach. O’Brien had been the offensive coordinator for Alabama for the 2021 and 2022 seasons after a seven-year run as the head coach of the Houston Texans, the job he accepted after his second season at Penn State.

O’Brien was hired following the removal of former head coach Joe Paterno in the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. That scandal later led O’Brien to be burdened with hefty NCAA sanctions on top of everything else he had to deal with. O’Brien was limited in what he could do with recruiting and dealt with a number of players leaving the program with a free transfer granted by the NCAA. Despite all odds, O’Brien managed to go 15-9 in his two seasons as Penn State’s head coach.

O’Brien will now make his return to Beaver Stadium this fall as Penn State is set to host Ohio State in Big Ten play. Penn State hosts Ohio State on Nov. 2.

O’Brien will be reunited with one of his former assistants, Larry Johnson Sr. The long-time Penn State defensive assistant currently coaches the defensive line for the Buckeyes and was a key assistant staying onboard from Paterno’s staff when O’Brien took on the job of head coach of the Nittany Lions.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire