The reshaping of the Ohio State football coaching staff took another major step forward today as the program announced the hiring of former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. The 54-year-old joins the Ohio State staff after most recently serving a stint as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach with the New England Patriots. His title will be offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
O’Brien will join an Ohio State staff that has already made a couple of moves with the departures of Parker Fleming and Perry Eliano and the addition of Indiana’s Matt Guerrieri.
Time will tell if more moves are made as it was reported by FootballScoop.com that the new role that O’Brien is taking will have personnel decision-making duties on the offensive side of the ball.
This move too will allow Ryan Day to take more of a CEO role with the team with both offense and defense spoken for by coordinators.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to add Bill O’Brien to our coaching staff,” Day said via a press release. “He brings with him a wealth of knowledge – and a tremendous amount of success – at both the NFL and collegiate levels. He is an excellent and experienced offensive coach who has run NFL and Power 5 programs and developed some truly elite players throughout his career. He’ll be an excellent teacher and recruiter for us, and he absolutely strengthens our staff.”
2023 was rough sledding for the Patriots with a depleted roster on offense to go along with what would end up being Bill Belichick’s final year with the team as head coach.
O’Brien has worked alongside coaches including Belichick along the way in an assistant role and has also been a head coach with both the Houston Texans of the NFL as well as Penn State, when O’Brien stepped in for the disgraced Joe Paterno and helped navigate the Nittany Lions through their substantial NCAA punishments.
While at Penn State, O’Brien would win Big Ten and NCAA coach of the year honors in 2012.
As head coach with the Texans, O’Brien would pilot his team to the playoffs in four of six-plus seasons, despite never advancing beyond the AFC Divisional Game. He would start his seventh season 0-4 and was let go, turning up with the Alabama Crimson Tide the following season as OC.
During his two-year run at Bama, the offense would remain in the top-15 nationally and while the run game slipped in 2021, it would bounce back into form in 2022 as Bama would average a little more than 40 points per game over the course of those two seasons.
O’Brien will inherit an Ohio State offense that is assured of a new starter for the Buckeyes in 2023 at quarterback, be it the transfer Will Howard or one of the QBs already on the roster including Devin Brown, Lincoln Kienholz or Air Noland.
The new OC will also have a tremendous one-two punch at running back with TreVeyon Henderson and transfer Quinshon Judkins. And of course, we already know about Ohio State’s wide receiver room and even with the departures of Marvin Harrison Jr., Julian Fleming and Noah Rogers, the Buckeyes reload with the addition of Jeremiah Smith and Mylan Graham to an already stacked room.
Offensive line will be a major focus as Ohio State’s line play was inconsistent last season and the Buckeyes know that can’t continue to be the trend. The Buckeyes already addressed it with the addition of Seth McLaughlin, but could more moves be made either in the short or long term?
The move also means that Corey Dennis will no longer coach the quarterbacks and does not seem to be part of Ohio State’s 10-man coaching plans but there is still talk of an undetermined role within the program for Dennis.
This will leave one additional spot left open on the Ohio State staff, likely set for the defensive side of the ball.
We will have so much more on this big move for the Buckeyes with the addition of Bill O’Brien. Keep it locked in here for all the latest on this and so much more in Buckeye Nation, only here at BuckeyeHuddle.com.