It seems like it has been three years, but it’s only been three months that Bill O’Brien earned one of those precious 32 positions in professional football, as head coach.
O’Brien, who attended St. John’s Prep and Brown University, agreed to be the Houston Texans head coach on Jan. 3, 2014.
It’s been a whirlwind few years for O’Brien, who has not had much time to rest since taking over at Penn State while still with the New England Patriots during the Super Bowl run against the New York Giants in late January of 2012. Many people expected the Nittany Lions program to crumble after the Jerry Sandusky allegations and death of legendary coach Joe Paterno, but with O’Brien’s help, that didn’t happen.
The Andover native spent two seasons with Penn State, winning Div. 1 FBS Coach of the Year while leading the Nittany Lions to a 15-9 record.
We spoke with O’Brien recently about his career, his time with the Patriots and what lies ahead for the Houston Texans:
Q: Tell us about Houston and how you and your family has settled in?
A: “It’s a great city. I compare it a lot to Atlanta, where I spent a few years when I was coaching at Georgia Tech. There are so many things to do here. There really is something for everybody. The schools are good. There are cultural things for everyone. We’ve been very busy here, but we really love the area. We moved into a house finally. My wife did a real good job with that. The last time I picked a house without my wife, it was not good. She said they I was done choosing homes after that. I’m OK with that. These job changes are not easy on the family. But coming to Houston was right for us. It has the right hospitals for my son, Jack (who needs medical attention), and that is always a big part of the decisions we make.”