When Bill O'Brien was tabbed take over the Penn State program, he took over a athletic department that had fallen on rough times in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Many fans and people across the country looked at O'Brien to unify Penn State country once again.
While some repairs have definitely been made, and O'Brien has put his own stamp on the program in just 17 months at the helm, he has made it clear during this years off season tour of speaking engagements that he's not the "unity coach" for the University.
“I’m not the unity coach. I’m not the coach of unity,” O’Brien told the crowd Wednesday according to StateCollege.com. “I’m the football coach. It is my job to do the best job I can for the football program as long as I am the head coach here. I’m not the unity coach.”
He then expanded on what he believes are priorities for head coaches in his eyes beyond the wins and losses and everything else that the general public attributes to a head coach.
“I think it’s important part of being a football coach is to sell tickets, raise money and give people a positive feeling about what you’re trying to do,. I think I have a responsibility to support the other teams because the football team is a big deal here.”
Notice that "unity" was a word that had no place in that description.
“I just want to do the best job I can for the players we coach, for the university I work for and for the history and the tradition of the program.” he added.
While he admits that he still has a lot to learn as the head man in charge, O'Brien continues to illustrate that he's got an excellent handle on what is expected of him and his staff in Happy Valley. That, coupled with his constant self evaluation and willingness to learn and adapt, is going to make football fun to watch for years to come out in State College.