Bill O'Brien reinforces commitment to Penn State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Bill O'Brien said his love for coaching Penn State outweighed a desire to pursue opportunities to move to the pinnacle of his profession and a big payday from the NFL.
A year to the day after being first introduced in Happy Valley, O'Brien also asserted several times that he has not asked, nor received a raise, and that no one has approached him about a salary bump, either.
O'Brien spoke at Beaver Stadium for the first time since the end of an 8-4 season, a smashing success considering the NCAA sanctions against the program for the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
He said Monday he had conversations with a few NFL teams who reached out last week while he was on vacation, but no job was ever offered.
He declined to name the interested teams. The Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles were among teams who spoke with O'Brien.
The former Patriots offensive coordinator, 43, noted that the NFL was the highest level he could achieve in his profession. The teams contacted him "out of respect of what we did this year," O'Brien said. "That's as far as it went ... At the end of the day, the most important decision that I made is the decision to be here at Penn State.
"I can't think of a better place to be."
His agent, Joe Linta, said last week that there would probably be discussions with the school about O'Brien's current contract, worth about $2.3 million.
With acting athletic director Dave Joyner in attendance, O'Brien said he has never initiated any talks about a raise in his career, and that no one from the university or any donor has spoken to him about a raise, too.
"If it was about money, more than likely I wouldn't be sitting here right now," he said. "It's about making sure that Penn State ... does everything we can do in our power to make sure place is the best it can be for our student athletes."