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Breneman speaks out on O'Brien's departure

By: Ashley Chase

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State University announced Thursday that Bill O'Brien is leaving the helm of the university's football program to become the head coach of the Houston Texans.

Penn State Athletic Director Dave Joyner made the announcement at a press conference at Beaver Stadium, confirming days of wide-spread speculation that O'Brien was leaving the school to take a coaching job in the NFL.

In two years with the Nittany Lions, O'Brien led the team to a 15-9 record, going 8-4 in his first season and 7-5 in his second season.

O'Brien has been met with criticism by many among the Penn State fan base for leaving the school, but he has been met with well wishes and congratulations from players, friends and other football-insiders.

Nittany Lion's freshman stand-out tight end Adam Breneman spoke with the sports team from WJAC's sister station WHP-TV in Harrisburg on Wednesday night about O'Brien's looming departure.

Breneman said he's "disappointed" and called the situation "upsetting" that O'Brien was leaving, but did speak highly of O'Brien's influence on him both on and off the field.

Breneman said becoming a head coach in the NFL was O'Brien's dream. O'Brien spent five seasons as the offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots before coming to PSU.

O'Brien was named Nittany Lions head coach in the spring of 2012, following the firing of Joe Paterno amid the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

The Texans will pay a buyout to Penn State to have O'Brien become their head coach. Reports are the buyout is between $6.5 and $6.7 million.

Defensive line coach Larry Johnson was named Penn State's interim head coach while a search is underway for a new head coach.

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times