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BREAKING: Bill O’Brien HIRED as Boston College Football Head Coach

The Massachusetts native stays home to coach the Eagles

New England Patriots v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

On Friday morning, it was reported by ESPN’s Pete Thamel that Bill O’Brien is expected to be hired to replace Jeff Hafley as the head coach of Boston College football.

Hafley left BC for the Green Bay Packers last week, leaving the Eagles in a very tough spot late in the coaching cycle and with the potential for an exodus of players into the transfer portal. But the Boston College administration worked quickly to secure a replacement in just over a week, and with starting QB Thomas Castellanos announcing that he intends to stay at BC, it seems that the program is set up well despite the circumstances. O’Brien reportedly beat out Boston College alum Al Washington in the final round of interviews.

Bill O’Brien is a Massachusetts native and is most well-known in the Boston area for his role with the New England Patriots. O’Brien served as a coach on the offensive staff in New England from 2007-2011, some of the best years of Tom Brady’s career (including two MVP seasons), and he returned to the team for the 2023 season, too. With Bill Belichick’s departure from the Patriots becoming official at the end of the regular season, O’Brien initially departed New England to become the offensive coordinator for Ohio State under our old friend Ryan Day, but has now turned back on OSU to stay in the Boston area to coach Boston College.

The highest profile job O’Brien has held was his stint as the head coach of the Houston Texans from 2013-2020, where he made the NFL playoffs four times and had a 52-48 record overall. But he’s also had a very full career coaching in the college ranks. O’Brien initially came up through as an offensive coordinator for Georgia Tech and Duke before he eventually landed with the Patriots in 2007, and returned to a college OC role under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2020-2021.

After his first stint with the Pats, O’Brien took his first ever head coaching job at Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Despite numerous sanctions against PSU that included a reduction in scholarships and a 4-year postseason ban, O’Brien steadied the ship and led the Nittany Lions to a 7-5 & 8-4 record in his two seasons as head coach. His performance there showed great leadership in extenuating circumstances, a quality that will be very useful for a Boston College program that often finds itself outmatched in funding and resources.

Welcome to the Heights, Coach O’Brien! Be sure to check back here with BC Interruption in the coming weeks as we analyze what this hiring will mean for the Boston College program on the field, on the recruiting trail, and in the media.