Less than a month after accepting the offensive coordinator job at Ohio State, Bill O’Brien has been hired as the new head coach at Boston College. The Boston-native and long-time New England Patriots staffer has previously served as head coach at both Penn State (2012-13) and with the Houston Texans (2014-20). He spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons as Nick Saban’s OC at Alabama, during which time the Tide were 24-4 overall and had one of the top offensive units in the SEC.
“I am thrilled to welcome Bill O’Brien, his wife Colleen, and his sons Jack and Michael to Boston College,” said AD Blake James. “When we embarked on this search, we prioritized finding a coach who believes in our mission and vision, who has a plan for greatness on and off the field, and who will work tirelessly to elevate BC Football. Bill is a gifted leader who has had a tremendous amount of success as a head coach and coordinator at both the collegiate and NFL levels. His passion for teaching football and developing young men make him a great fit to lead Boston College to greater heights.”
O’Brien was born in Boston and grew up in Andover, playing football at St. John’s Prep and at Brown University (1990-92). Primarily a collegiate coach at the start of his career, he took a job with the Patriots in 2007 and spent the next five seasons there, working his way up to offensive coordinator by 2011.
In 2012, he was hired to be the head coach at Penn State, where he was tasked with replacing Joe Paterno and leading the program after one of the worst scandals in sports history. He was named National COY in 2012 after going 8-4 (6-2) in his first season at the helm.
He received heavy interest from NFL franchises during his tenure in State College, eventually leaving in 2014 for the Houston Texans’ job. He led the team to the Playoffs four times in five full seasons but went just 2-4 in the postseason and was let go during the 2020 season after a 0-4 start.
After his time in Tuscaloosa, O’Brien returned to the Patriots and spent the 2023 season as OC and QBs coach. It was a rough season for the Pats and ended up being the last for long-time head coach Bill Belichick. O’Brien was set to be OC at Ohio State for the upcoming season before the opportunity to take over at his hometown ACC program came to be.
O’Brien replaces Jeff Hafley, who left last month after four seasons to become the new DC with the Green Bay Packers. The Eagles won the 2023 Fenway Bowl to cap a 7-6 (3-5 ACC) season, an encouraging improvement over their 3-9 campaign the year before.
credit to Boston College Athletics for the image