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Penn State hires Bill O’Brien as football coach

New England offensive coordinator

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Penn State has hired New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien as its head coach, the first change in leadership for the storied football program in nearly a half-century.

The announcement caps a turbulent two-month period that began with the Nov. 9 firing of Hall of Famer Joe Paterno in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

Not only is O’Brien replacing Division I’s winningest coach, but he must also guide a program shrouded in uncertainty. Besides the criminal investigation into Sandusky, the NCAA has launched its own inquiry.

O’Brien was set to be formally announced at a news conference Saturday morning.

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