College Football

Former Patriots OC Bill O'Brien nearing deal to become Boston College head coach: Report

O'Brien is back in New England -- but not with the Patriots

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Bill O'Brien is on the verge of returning to New England, but it won't be with the New England Patriots.

The former Patriots offensive coordinator is working on a deal to become the next head coach at Boston College, ESPN's Pete Thamel reported on Friday.

O'Brien joined the Ohio State coaching staff in January to be offensive coordinator under head coach Ryan Day. Now, it appears O'Brien, a Massachusetts native, will return to his home state.

O'Brien's coaching experience stretches the NFL and NCAA ranks, including two years at Brown University to start his coaching career. He held various offensive roles with the Patriots from 2007 to 2011, was head coach at Penn State in 2012 and 2013, was hired as the Houston Texans' head coach in 2014 and was fired four games into the 2020 season. He then went back to college football and became Alabama's offensive coordinator under Nick Saban for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

O'Brien returned to the Patriots in January 2023, but the team's offense struggled mightily during a 4-13 regular season. Led by quarterback Mac Jones and later Bailey Zappe, the Patriots finished tied for last in the NFL in scoring with just 13.9 points per game.

Boston College went 7-6 and won the Fenway Bowl in 2023 under head coach Jeff Hafley, who became the Green Bay Packers' defensive coordinator on Jan. 31. It was the first and only bowl appearance for the Eagles in Hafley's four-year tenure.

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