by Aaron Wilson
January 02, 02014
Penn State has been informed by coach Bill O'Brien that he's accepted the Houston Texans' head coaching position.
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson will serve as interim head coach during the coaching search
"We need to do everything we can to support the needs of our student-athletes during this period," athletic director Dave Joyner said. "I am very confident in Larry Johnson, the coaches and staff in maintaining continuity and working with the returning players and recruits. We intend to move quickly in our search to identify the next great Penn State football coach."
Added Johnson: "I'm humbled by the confidence that Penn State has bestowed upon me during this critical time for the football program and honored to do my part to help Penn State," Johnson said. "My job will be made very easy since we have a team comprised of tremendous student-athletes, coaches, trainers and support staff who are second to none and care as much about Penn State as I do. This program has a historic past and very bright future and I look forward to continuing to work with the players, staff and our incoming recruiting class to uphold the tremendous traditions, ideals and principles that make Penn State the best University in the nation and the football program the most successful on and off the field."'
O'Brien went 8-4 and 7-5 in two seasons coaching the Nittany Lions.
A former offensive coordinator for the New England Patriots, O'Brien stabilized the program following the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.