Penn State Football

Penn State football: Reports say O’Brien leaving Nittany Lions for NFL’s Houston Texans

ESPN and the Houston Chronicle are reporting Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien has reached an agreement to become the new head coach for the Houston Texans.

The Chronicle says the deal will be announced Wednesday or Thursday, citing two people with knowledge of the negotiations, with the deal finalized Tuesday night.

O’Brien will take over a Texans team that finished 2-14 — the worst record in the NFL — and will have the No. 1 pick in May’s draft.

O’Brien, 44, had a 15-9 record over his two seasons guiding the Nittany Lions, as they struggled through NCAA sanctions that limited scholarships and banned the team from bowl appearances. He received numerous Coach of the Year awards after leading Penn State to an 8-4 record during his first season. Before coming to State College, O’Brien spent five seasons with the New England Patriots, the last season as offensive coordinator in helping the team reach the Super Bowl.

Emails sent to numerous Penn State officials for comment or confirmation were not returned late Tuesday night. The Texans’ web site posted links to a number of stories, but also did not confirm the move. O’Brien replaces Gary Kubiak, who was fired by the team on Dec. 6.

Several players reacted to the news Tuesday on Twitter.

“Coach O’Brien is a great coach and great person!” linebacker Mike Hull said. “Proud to have called him my coach. It was his dream to coach in the NFL, best of luck.”

“Congratulations to Coach Bill O’Brien. Couldn’t be happier for him and his family, “ offensive lineman John Urschel said.

Offensive lineman Miles Dieffenbach called O’Brien “one of the greatest men I’ve ever known.”

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