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Bill O’Brien leaving Patriots for college coaching job

Bill O'Brien points at practice

Jul 26, 2023; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien directs the office on a drill during training camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Bill O’Brien is returning to the college football ranks.

O’Brien is leaving the New England Patriots to join Ohio State as the Buckeyes’ new offensive coordinator, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported on Thursday.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, O’Brien is expected to serve as the offense’s playcaller. Ryan Day had called offensive plays for Ohio State over his five full seasons as the Buckeyes’ head coach. The Dispatch says that Brian Hartline is expected to remain on staff as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.

O’Brien had spent this season as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator. The Pats had hired O’Brien back after he spent the 2021 and 2022 seasons serving as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. New England had big hopes that O’Brien would help resurrect an offense that ranked 17th in points and 26th in yards in 2022. Instead, the offense went further into the tank and finished 31st in points and 30th in yards.

O’Brien was hired by Bill Belichick, who has been replaced by Jerod Mayo as New England’s head coach.

The move to Ohio State will mark O’Brien’s second time coaching in the Big Ten. He had served as the head coach at Penn State from 2012-2013. After a successful stint with the Nittany Lions, he was hired to serve as the Houston Texans’ head coach. Under O’Brien, the Texans won four division titles.

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