Bill O'Brien Press Conference Transcript - Jan. 7
Dr. David Joyner Press Remarks - Jan. 7
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Bill O'Brien's love for coaching football at Penn State is why he is eagerly anticipating the start of the preparations for the 2013 season.
Introduced as the head coach of the Nittany Lions one year ago on Monday, O'Brien wouldn't trade the position he is in right now for anything.
"I can't think of a better place to be," O'Brien said.
Coaching football is O'Brien's craft. He wakes up early every morning, drives from his home in Boalsburg to one of two Dunkin' Donuts in State College to order an extra large coffee (three Splenda and extra cream), walks into the Lasch Football Building up the stairs to his second-floor office and works tireless hours to find ways to get the most out of his student-athletes on the field and in the classroom.
"My job is as the head football coach of Penn State is to make sure that we field the best football team we possibly can, that we graduate our players, and that we continue to attract some of the top-notch character, academic disciplined kids, student-athletes, that are out there. That's my job. I absolutely enjoy every single day coming to work here," O'Brien said.
In football coaching, the National Football League is the pinnacle of the sport. Out of respect for the job O'Brien did in leading the Nittany Lions in 2012 and his previous experience in the NFL, a few teams recently reached out to his representative. He had conversations, but that is as far as it went. O'Brien is the leader of Penn State Football because this is where he wants to be.
"You know, at the end of the day, the most important thing is the decision that I made," O'Brien said. "I made the decision to be here at Penn State, just like I made that decision a year ago...This is a top 10 football program. This is one of the best academic institutions in the country, in the world, and I am very, very proud to be the head football coach here. Very proud."
He likes everything involved with the challenge of coaching, from crafting game plans to spending countless hours reviewing film from his desk chair in his office. Anyone who thinks O'Brien coaches for another reason misinterprets the man who is leading Penn State Football.
"If I was about money, more than likely, I probably wouldn't be sitting here now," said O'Brien. "It's not about money. It's about making sure that Penn State University, the Penn State athletic department, Penn State Football does everything we can to make sure it's the best we can for our student-athletes. That's what it's about."
O'Brien forged a bond with the players on the day he first addressed the team, which is exactly one year ago on Tuesday. The feeling between the two is mutual.
"I trust my players, and I believe that they trust me, and like I said, I love coaching these kids and can't wait to start working with them for spring practice," O'Brien said.
O'Brien and the players met at 7 a.m. on Monday for the first time as a complete group during the new calendar year. The Nittany Lions are looking to build on the 8-4 campaign last fall, but the book is closed on 2012. This is a new team, and the group is eager for what is ahead.
"Every year is different. I just met with the team here, and I said, look, 2012 has been over for a couple months now, and we've got to create a new identity," said O'Brien.
Between now and the start of spring practice in March, O'Brien and the coaching staff will again hit the recruiting trail. National Signing Day is on Feb. 6. The players will commence offseason strength and conditioning work immediately.
The Nittany Lions begin the 2013 regular season on Aug. 31 inside MetLife Stadium against Syracuse.
The countdown clock stands at 236 days until the opener.
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