Bill O'Brien Already Planning Exit From First Post-Patriots Job

Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach
Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the Bill O'Brien era in Columbus might not even last a month. O'Brien was announced as Ohio State's offensive coordinator on Jan. 19, but following the departure of head coach Jeff Hafley last Wednesday, the former Patriots' offensive coordinator has been the clear frontrunner to lead Boston College's football program.

Now, a deal is all but done, according to Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald, with only minor contract details to iron out.

Hafley announced his departure from Chestnut Hill last week to become the Green Bay Packers' defensive coordinator. Hafley spent four seasons leading the Eagles, compiling a 22-26 record.

O'Brien spent last season as New England's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He had previously spent five seasons on the Patriots' staff, including as OC in 2011.

However, with the 2023 New England offense ranking among the league's worse and an uncertain future under new head coach Jerod Mayo, O'Brien opted to take over as Ohio State's offensive play caller earlier this offseason.

O'Brien has deep New England football roots. The 54-year-old was born in Dorchester, Mass. and raised in Andover, Mass. He attended high school at St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass. before playing college football at Brown University.

Cumulatively, O'Brien has experience across 18 years in the collegiate ranks.

Most notably, O'Brien spent two seasons at Penn State, becoming the school's first new head coach in 46 years following the firing of Joe Paterno amidst the program's abuse scandal. O'Brien brought remarkable stability to the program during this tumultuous time, even as the Nittany Lions were sanctioned with a postseason ban and loss of scholarships.

O'Brien recorded a 15-9 record during his two seasons in State College. In his first season at the helm, he overwhelmingly exceeded expectations by posting an 8-4 record and winning eight of his last 10 games. In recognition of his leadership under the conditions he inherited, O'Brien was awarded the Big Ten Coach of the Year, named as ESPN's national coach of the year, and was also the recipient of the 2012 Paul "Bear" Bryant College Coach of the Year Award.

Following the 2012 campaign, O'Brien interviewed with both the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles for their head coaching vacancies. He ultimately remained with Penn State for the 2013 season, highlighted by a quadruple overtime 43-40 win over ranked Michigan. After the 2013 season, O'Brien left to take the Houston Texans head coaching position.

He spent seven years in charge in Houston, racking up a 52-48 and earning four postseason berths before he was fired following an 0-4 start in 2020.

Following his firing in Houston, O'Brien return to the college ranks as Alabama's offensive coordinator under the legendary Nick Saban. He spent two seasons as the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator prior to his brief reunion with the Patriots this season.

O'Brien's reunion with the Patriots was short-lived, but it looks he might not going far after all.

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