Sitting alongside Penn State President Rodney Erickson and acting athletic director Dave Joyner, with his wife and son sitting a few feet away, Bill O'Brien was introduced Saturday morning as the 15th head coach of the Penn State football program.
"This is unbelievable," O'Brien said to open his remarks at the press conference at the Nittany Lion Inn.
"I'm really thrilled to be the head football coach at Penn State."
O'Brien confirmed that he will remain with the New England Patriots throughout thier playoff run, and also announced that Larry Johnson will be retained as an assistant coach. Johnson, who was in attendance for the press conference, said his understanding was that he would be O'Brien's defensive line coach. O'Brien said he plans to put together the rest of his staff in the next couple days.
O'Brien's contract is for five years (running through 2017) and for a base compensation of $950,000 per year with a built-in 5 percent annual increase. He will also receive regular executive benefits offered by the University, an additional $1 million each year for radio and television and $350,000 each year from the Nike contract. O'Brien's performance incentives are not to exceed $200,000 for each year.
"There is so much pride in Penn State, and we will never ever take that for granted," O'Brien said. "Ever."