State College, PA (Sports Network) - Penn State amended the contract of head
football coach Bill O'Brien on Thursday, with the 2012 Bear Bryant Award
recipient receiving a pay raise of nearly $1 million for the upcoming season.
O'Brien was due to receive a five percent increase on his 2012 salary of
$950,000 under his original contract, but will now earn a base sum of $1.932
million after guiding the turmoil-ridden Nittany Lions' program to an 8-4
record along with a 6-2 mark in Big Ten play during his first year on the job.
The 43-year-old O'Brien inherited a Penn State team rocked by NCAA sanctions
and numerous player defections in the wake of the sex abuse scandal involving
former longtime assistant Jerry Sandusky. The controversy led to the PSU Board
of Trustees to fire the legendary Joe Paterno in November of 2011, with the
Hall of Fame head coach dying of lung cancer just two months later at the age
O'Brien was able to navigate those challenges and led the Nittany Lions to a
second-place finish in the Leaders Division of the Big Ten, while his eight
overall victories were the most by a first-year coach in PSU history.
For his accomplishments, O'Brien received the Bryant Award honoring college
football's national coach of the year, and was named the Big Ten's Coach of
the Year as well.
"In the face of great adversity, Bill did a tremendous job with all facets of
the Penn State football program," Penn State athletics director Dave Joyner
said in a statement. "This rightly recognizes Bill's outstanding achievements
in guiding our student-athletes on and off the field."
The Nittany Lions were not eligible for a bowl last season due to the NCAA
penalties levied against the program, with the ban to run through the 2015
The Sports Network