There’s reason to believe that Bill O’Brien could be at Penn State long-term — at least according to athletic director Dave Joyner.
In an Associated Press report from Connecticut today, Joyner said he speaks several times each week with O’Brien, the second-year head coach and, “I can tell you we talk in terms of years and years. We make plans for years and years.”
The sanctions include a four-year postseason ban, a significant reduction in scholarships and the waiving of standard player transfer restrictions, which will end later this summer.
Then, immediately after last season ended, O’Brien received head coaching interest from NFL teams. He did end that speculation rather quickly.
“First of all, I think we’re going to have this guy for a long time. I truly, truly believe that,” Joyner told the AP. “But whenever the day comes that Bill may choose to leave — if that’s five years from now, if it’s 10 years; he may never choose to leave, this may be his last job, I certainly hope so — then we’ll adapt and deal with it.”
Joyner also said he doesn’t envision the recent flap over a Sports Illustrated piece, which questioned changes in the way Penn State football players will receive medical attention, will help drive O’Brien out in any way.
“He’s very good at focusing through the noise, as you know,” Joyner said.
He also referred to O’Brien as the best rookie head coach in history and knows that will create perpetual interest from the NFL.
“That’s the baggage you get for hiring a really, really good coach, having people what to talk to him,” Joyner said. “That’s great. That’s flattering. All indications are we’re full speed ahead.”