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Penn State officially announces O'Brien hire

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  January 6, 2012 10:13 PM

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Penn State University has (finally) officially announced the hire of Bill O'Brien as the 15th coach in the school's history, though he will be the first since 1966, the year Joe Paterno began his 46-year tenure as head coach.

O'Brien will officially be introduced at a press conference at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow on campus.

In a press release from the school, O'Brien said, "I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Penn State football program. I cannot tell you how excited I am to get started, meet the team, meet the football alumni and meet all of the people that make this University so special.

"As head coach of this special football program, it is my responsibility to ensure that this program represents the highest level of character, respect and integrity in everything we do. That includes my coaching staff, our players and everyone involved in the football program. There is tremendous pride in Penn State football and will never, ever take that for granted."

Acting athletic director Dave Joyner said of O'Brien, "We have found the man to take Penn State football forward. Needless to say, we have been looking for someone with some very special qualities, beginning with a heart that beats to the values and vision of Penn State University and our Penn State football legacy and tradition. That was our starting point, and Coach O'Brien exemplifies those traits that Penn Staters hold so highly.

"In addition to his model characteristics as a man and a teacher, he's all about producing winners, and doing so the right way. He will embrace tradition, demand excellence and pursue Success with Honor in every phase of our program."

In light of the unfavorable reception news of the hire was given by football alumni like LaVar Arrington last night and today, with several saying they felt the school was wrong by not hiring someone with strong Penn State ties to lead the embattled program, both O'Brien's and Joyner's comments seem pointed.

When you go to the web site for Penn State athletics, you're met with the image of O'Brien wearing a headset, in Patriots garb, on the sidelines.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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