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Jan. 11, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Several Penn State Football lettermen had an opportunity to meet and/or speak with new head football coach Bill O'Brien last weekend when he was introduced on campus. Below are their thoughts after speaking with the Nittany Lions' 15th head football coach in the program's storied 125-year history.
"I recently had an opportunity to speak with Coach O'Brien. I was impressed during our conversation by his passion, his values, the respect and understanding of Penn State football he possessed and his enthusiasm about leading the program in the future. In addition, the fact that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, two men who in my opinion are at the top of the football world in their respective professions, speak so highly of him as a coach and play caller says a great deal to me about our new football coach at Penn State."
- Todd Blackledge, Penn State letterman, 1980-82
"I had an opportunity to speak with Coach O'Brien and am thoroughly impressed. He has great knowledge of the tradition and history of Penn State football. He is going to reach out to the former players. He has great presence and leadership qualities and it was easy to tell he is committed and can't wait to get started. I'm excited and I am going to support Coach O'Brien and the program any way I can. I think Bill will do a great job."
- Shane Conlan, Penn State letterman, 1983-86
"As a football alumni and a member of the Nittany Lion Club I was very impressed with the thoughts and strategies that Coach O'Brien shared with us. I was especially glad to hear the respect he has for our previous players, culture and traditions."
- Dan Delligatti, Penn State Football Letterman's Club
"After having a chance to meet Coach O'Brien I believe our program is in good hands. He values the same things all the former players do -- tradition, graduating players and winning the right way. It was apparent that Coach O'Brien would have fit in well as a player in our locker room."
- Justin Kurpeikis, Penn State letterman, 1997-2000
"My brother (Larry) and I had an opportunity to meet Coach O'Brien and we were thoroughly impressed. We wanted him to know the lettermen fully support him. He understands the traditions of the program, going all the way back to my grandfather (Bob Higgins) through what Coach Paterno accomplished. He brings a great deal of infectious enthusiasm. He is excited to get started and we are excited to support him and the team."
- Paul Suhey, Penn State letterman, 1975-78
"Congratulations to Coach O'Brien on his selection as the head coach of the Penn State Football program. We are fortunate to have someone with his academic, athletic and coaching credentials leading our program and continuing the Penn State tradition of success in the classroom and on the field. Coach... you have already proven yourself already and we are delighted to have you as part of the Penn State family. We Are...Penn State!!"
- Tim Sweeney, President, Penn State Football Letterman's Club