Bill O’Brien saw his second stint with the New England Patriots come to an end after only one season. But it appears O’Brien will not be moving far. According to multiple reports, Boston College will name O’Brien as their new head football coach.
O’Brien is a Massachusetts native who attended St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Mass.) before playing for Brown University. His coaching career began at his alma mater (1993-1994) upon his graduation.
Despite being known primarily for his work in the NFL, O’Brien has extensive experience in the college game. In addition to Brown, O’Brien served as an assistant coach for Georgia Tech, Maryland, Duke, and Alabama. He had recently accepted a role to become the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, but it appears his tenure with the Buckeyes is over before it began.
O’Brien was the head coach of Penn State for two seasons (2012-2013). He helped turn around their program following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Bill O’Brien earned multiple awards for NCAA Coach of the Year in 2012.
In the National Football League, O’Brien served as an assistant under Bill Belichick for six seasons (2007-2011, 2023), serving as offensive coordinator in both 2011 and 2023. He was also the head coach of the Houston Texans for seven seasons, reaching the NFL Playoffs four times.
Staying in the Boston area has several benefits for the O’Brien family. Professionally, it allows him to become a head coach and earn a higher salary. Personally, it keeps his family in Boston. He and his wife Colleen have two sons, Jack and Michael. Jack O’Brien has a rare brain condition called lissencephaly. Being in the Boston area for his son’s medical care is considered a factor positive factor as well.
Bill O’Brien will be replacing Jeff Hafley, who left to become defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Hafley was 22-26 in four seasons with Boston College, making two bowl appearances.