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Penn State hires Patriots' O'Brien to succeed Paterno

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By PFW staff

Originally posted Jan. 6, 2012 @ 4:15 a.m. ET

Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was officially named the new head coach at Penn State on Saturday, replacing coaching legend Joe Paterno.

O'Brien, 42, interviewed for the job on Thursday, and the interview went so well, according to NFL Network, that O'Brien decided to stay over Friday to finalize the terms of his contract.

O'Brien signed a five-year deal that calls for a base salary starting at $950,000, with a 5 percent annual increase. He will earn an additional $1 million per year for television and radio work, as well as $350,000 from a Nike contract.

O'Brien will continue coaching the Patriots throughout the playoffs.

O'Brien became offensive coordinator/quarterbacks in New England this season after serving as QB coach the previous two seasons. The Patriots ranked second in the NFL in total offense this season and third in scoring. Patriots QB Tom Brady has spoken highly of O'Brien, calling him "a great coach and friend."

Before he joined the Patriots in 2007, O'Brien spent 14 years coaching in the college ranks, including stints at ACC schools Georgia Tech, Maryland and Duke.

Paterno was fired Nov. 9 by the school's trustees in the midst of a child-abuse investigation involving one of his former coaches, Jerry Sandusky. The school is facing federal, NCAA and Big Ten inquiries, not to mention criminal proceedings against former administrators.

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