On radio, Bill O'Brien reaffirms commitment to Penn State

Bill O'Brien (right), Stephon Morris (left). (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

When asked about his future at Penn State, Bill O'Brien's answers this season have ranged from ambiguous to noncommittal to coy.

On Tuesday, his first post-season interview, the coach appeared much more assertive.

O'Brien's name has popped up as a candidate for NFL and college vacancies -- at least in the watercooler and message board circles. But when asked on Tuesday whether he would coach the Nittany Lions in 2013, O'Brien was concrete.

"Oh, I plan on being the head football coach at Penn State," O'Brien told 790-AM The Zone in Atlanta. "That's my plan, and that's what I intend to do."

O’Brien is under contract until 2020. His current base salary is $950,000 a year, plus $1 million a year for public appearances and $350,000 from a deal with Nike. When O'Brien was hired in January, he signed to a five year deal. After the NCAA sanctions, O'Brien opted to extend his contract four more years -- the amount of years Penn State is banned from the postseason.

O’Brien created some anxiety among Penn State fans after the Lions 45-22 win against Indiana. When a reporter flat out asked the 43-year-old: “Are you going to be Penn State's coach next year?” he gave a long-winded answer which did not include the answer, “yes.” Instead, he said he was focusing on finishing the rest of the season.

The bowl-ineligible Lions finished 8-4, the most wins for a rookie head coach in Penn State history.

-Emily Kaplan