Nittany Nation could finally exhale Friday after receiving word that Penn State coach Bill O’Brien had ended his brief flirtation with returning to the NFL as a head coach and announced he would be back on the Beaver Stadium sideline in 2013.
Neither O’Brien nor his agent, Joe Linta, responded to requests for comment.
In an interview Friday with Steve Jones, the radio voice of Penn State football, O’Brien, a former offensive coordinator with the New England Patriots, said NFL teams, which he did not identify, “reached out” to his representative.
“At the end of the day, it’s right for me to do what I said I was going to do,” he said, “and that’s stay at Penn State and coach these players and work with this staff and do the best I can for Penn State.”
O’Brien hopefully will explain his reasons for staying at a news conference tentatively scheduled for Monday.
Linta told the Associated Press that O’Brien’s “heartstrings were too strong” toward his players for him to make a move, but it appeared that the agent got Penn State to sweeten his contract, which is valued at $2.3 million this season.
Reports indicated that Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula, who donated more than $100 million to the university to build a hockey arena and start up men’s and women’s programs, pledged $1.3 million to add to O’Brien’s 2013 salary.
Various reports said Linta worked to try to ease the buyout language in the contract.