Ironically, former coach Joe Paterno confirmed Penn State's hiring of Bill O'Brien tonight in a statement before the university official confirmed it via Twitter.
Paterno congratulated O'Brien, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, on becoming the 15th coach in the school's 125-year history, and first since Paterno replaced Rip Engle in 1966.
"I understand Bill O'Brien has been named head coach and I want to congratulate him on his appointment," Paterno said in a statement released to The Associated Press. "I don't know Bill, but I respect his coaching record, and I am particularly pleased we share a connection to my alma mater, Brown."
"Despite recent commentary to the contrary, Penn State football has always been about more than winning," Paterno added, citing what he said was the program's commitment to education and community service. "I am hopeful this tradition will continue."
Paterno was fired Nov. 9 amid a child sexual abuse scandal involving former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.
"I am thrilled to be the head coach of the Penn State football program," O'Brien said in a statement. "As head coach of this special football program, it is my responsibility to ensure that this program represents the highest level of character, respect and integrity in everything we do."
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