TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama head football coach Nick Saban announced the addition of Bill O’Brien to the Crimson Tide coaching staff on Thursday as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Tide.
“We are pleased and happy to be able to add Bill O’Brien to our coaching staff,” Saban said. “He has a wealth of experience as both an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL and college. Bill is one of the brightest offensive minds in football, an outstanding teacher and excellent recruiter. He will strengthen our coaching staff and give our players the best possible chance to be successful.”
O’Brien arrives in Tuscaloosa after six-plus years as the head coach of the NFL’s Houston Texans where he compiled a 52-48 (.520) record with four AFC South titles, four playoff appearances and two appearances in the AFC Divisional Round. His offenses in Houston proved to be balanced and potent with the Texans ranking in the top 10 in the league in rushing yards, while quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 4,165 yards in 2018 and 3,852 yards in 2019.
“I am honored and excited to join Coach Saban’s staff at The University of Alabama,” O’Brien said. “I have an incredible amount of admiration for the rich football tradition at this University and the success Coach Saban has had during his time in Tuscaloosa. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with some of the best football players in the country, while helping to continue the success this program has enjoyed for many years.”
Prior to joining the Texans, O’Brien took on one of the tallest tasks in college football history when he was named head coach at Penn State on Jan. 6, 2012. He spent two years leading the Nittany Lions program, posting a 15-9 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Big Ten, while garnering national and conference coach-of-the-year awards.
Penn State won eight of its final 10 games to finish the 2012 season with an 8-4 record. O’Brien, who also served as offensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, was named the Bear Bryant, Maxwell Football Club and ESPN National Coach of the Year after winning more games than any other first-year head coach in the program’s previous 125 seasons.
Before his time in Happy Valley, O’Brien spent five years on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England, including calling offensive plays for three seasons and serving as the offensive coordinator in 2011. He coached in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI and was Tom Brady’s position coach during his 2010 MVP season.
O’Brien owns 28 years of collegiate and NFL coaching experience and was last a college offensive coordinator at Duke during the 2005-06 seasons. Prior to his time with the Blue Devils, O’Brien served as the running backs coach at Maryland (2004) after spending eight years at Georgia Tech in a myriad of roles, including graduate assistant, running backs, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and assistant head coach (1995-2002). O’Brien started his career at Brown, coaching the tight ends in 1993 and the inside linebackers in 1994.
O’Brien played linebacker and defensive end at Brown from 1990-92 and graduated with a double concentration in political science and organizational behavioral management in 1992. O’Brien and his wife, Colleen, have two sons, Jack and Michael.
While appropriate members of The Board of Trustees have been notified of the proposed terms and conditions of these proposed hires, the financial terms remain subject to the approval by The Board of Trustees.
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