"His presence and command before our team has grown into that of a inspirational leader. This is a great match between a storied program and a old-school football coach. Bill will be up to the task and I couldn't be happier for him, Colleen and the O'Brien family."
O'Brien also received the blessing of his predecessor at Penn State.
"I understand Bill O'Brien has been named head coach and I want to congratulate him on his appointment," Paterno said in a statement provided to The Associated Press by his family. "I don't know Bill, but I respect his coaching record, and I am particularly pleased we share a connection to my alma mater, Brown."
O'Brien had been with the Patriots since 2007 and became the team's offensive coordinator in 2011. The Penn State position will be his first head-coaching job.
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