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Bill O Brien

SPORTS
January 17, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - Christian Hackenberg will forever be tied to Bill O'Brien. The signal-caller was the gem of a 2013 recruiting class that stayed committed to Penn State and O'Brien after NCAA sanctions following the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Once he got on campus last summer, Hackenberg earned the starting job and, under O'Brien's tutelage, was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year last season. His four-touchdown performance against Wisconsin left fans pondering just how bright his future could be. O'Brien took the head-coaching job with the Houston Texans, and, after a 9-day coaching search, James Franklin was brought in to lead the Nittany Lions and have a hand in molding Hackenberg.
SPORTS
January 17, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The question was whether Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg considered transferring after head coach Bill O'Brien resigned to join the NFL's Houston Texans. Hackenberg's answer was succinct. "I didn't," he said. To the relief of Nittany Nation, Hackenberg stayed in the fold after losing the two men - O'Brien and quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher - who played major roles in his development as the No. 1 true freshman quarterback in the country in 2013, when he passed for 2,955 yards and 20 touchdowns.
SPORTS
January 16, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State football players went home for winter break a month ago with a young, well-liked head coach in charge of the program. While it was James Franklin's bald head and glasses at the front of a team meeting room Sunday instead of Bill O'Brien's buzz cut and dimpled chin, the sentiment still rang true when the Nittany Lions returned to campus this week. Current Penn State players formally addressed the media yesterday for the first time since the coaching switch, and all had strong perceptions of their new head coach, who officially was hired Saturday.
SPORTS
January 16, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Big Ten rivalry between Penn State and Ohio State got a little more enthralling Tuesday amid reports that former Nittany Lions assistant coach Larry Johnson has accepted a job as defensive line coach of the Buckeyes. Sports Illustrated and ESPN.com reported Ohio State's hiring of Johnson, who spent 18 seasons as a Penn State assistant, the last 14 as defensive line coach. Johnson said Monday he was leaving the Nittany Lions even though new coach James Franklin had asked him to continue to lead the defensive line.
SPORTS
January 15, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - Penn State has a fresh face to lead its football program, but lost its most seasoned coach yesterday. Larry Johnson, who was with Penn State as an assistant for 18 years, will not be a part of James Franklin's new staff, the Patriot-News reported yesterday. Johnson spent the last 14 years as the defensive line coach. The newspaper reported that Johnson was offered the same position on Franklin's staff, but turned it down. "I've thought a lot about this, I've prayed about it and this is what I want to do," Johnson told the newspaper.
SPORTS
January 14, 2014 | BY STEPHEN PIANOVICH, For the Daily News
STATE COLLEGE - James Franklin set his stance on recruiting loud and clear in his opening statement after being introduced as Penn State's 16th head football coach on Saturday. "Our recruiting philosophy: We are going to dominate the state," Franklin said. "We are going to dominate the state. We are going to dominate the region. I've worked a lot of different institutions that tried to compete. Recruiting against Penn State University, and it was always an unbelievable challenge.
SPORTS
January 14, 2014 | By Joe Juliano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Before he introduced James Franklin as Penn State's new football coach, athletic director Dave Joyner eagerly pointed out that the hunt to find the man the university's search committee wanted didn't take long at all. "I said [Jan. 2] that it would be days, not weeks," Joyner said, recalling that the 2011-12 search to find Bill O'Brien took 40 days. "So it's one week and two days - nine days - so let's get that out of here so you [reporters] are not going to ask me about that. " The six-person committee unanimously approved Franklin, 41, head coach for the last three seasons at Vanderbilt, to take over for Bill O'Brien.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | By Dan Norton, For The Inquirer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Bellefonte native Brent Kopcha's young daughters may have been the first community members that met new Penn State football coach James Franklin. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. Kopcha, a huge Nittany Lions fan who graduated for Penn State in 1998, had nothing planned Saturday. His girls are 9 and 5, and one of them had been asking him all week who Penn State's next football coach would be. In addition to telling them, Kopcha decided to show them. The father and his daughters waited for more than an hour.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | BY ANDREW ALBERT, Daily News Staff Writer alberta@phillynews.com
A TEENAGE James Franklin would go into the Neshaminy football office when he was in high school and draw up plays for his team with his head coach. Twenty-five years later, it is expected that he again will draw up plays in the state of Pennsylvania. "He has always been a football nut. He loves the game," said John Chaump, Franklin's head coach at Neshaminy. That love for the game has led him to be a leading candidate for the highly touted Penn State job. According to multiple reports, the Nittany Lions are set to name Franklin their next head football coach at a news conference today at 4:15 p.m. He would succeed Bill O'Brien, who left after two seasons to coach the Houston Texans in the NFL. Franklin, 41, is familiar with Pennsylvania.
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