PSU Wishes O’Brien Well, Wants Quick Replacement

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

STATE COLLEGE -- Penn State made it official Thursday morning:  football coach Bill O’Brien is leaving for a job leading the Houston Texans.

The university's athletic director held a news conference where he said the search for a new coach will be a quick one

Penn State's acting athletic director Dave Joyner said the university hopes to have a new head coach in a matter of days, not weeks.

Joyner wished Bill O’Brien well as he leaves the Nittany Lions to be the head coach of the Houston Texans.

O’Brien has been at Penn State for only two years, and the athletic director said that the university has been working with O’Brien in recent weeks trying to convince him to stay, including possible changes to his contract to make that happen.

But Joyner says O’Brien got a position with the Texans that he just couldn't pass up.

Joyner says Penn State is owed around $6.5 million from the Houston Texans to buy Bill O’Brien out of his contract.

Penn State has formed a committee to search for the new head coach. The athletic director says they have also heard from a lot of people interested in taking O’Brien’s place.

“I just want to emphasize that we are happy for Coach O’Brien and this tremendous opportunity for him.  At the same time we are very grateful for his last two years here at Penn State, Bill laying a foundation upon a great foundation that already existed here. Having said that, we are focused on the future of Penn State and intercollegiate athletics and Penn State football.  We have begun a robust search that will bring us a great next head football coach,” Joyner said.

While the university searches for a new head coach, longtime assistant Larry Johnson will be the interim head coach, working to make sure the 2014 recruiting class stays with the Nittany Lions.