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O’Brien bolts Penn State for Texans

File image of New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien in Foxborough

New England Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien looks on during the first quarter of their NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Foxborough, Massachusetts in this January 1, 2012 file photo. O’Brien will replace Joe Paterno at Penn State as head coach of the football program that was rocked by the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal, according to local media reports on January 6, 2012. REUTERS/Adam Hunger/Files (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL HEADSHOT)


Penn State coach Bill O’Brien reportedly told a recruit over the weekend that he wasn’t leaving.

He may not be leaving, but he sure ain’t staying.

Via multiple reports, O’Brien has struck a deal to become the head coach of the Houston Texans. O’Brien, who spent two years at Penn State after serving as offensive coordinator of the Patriots, replaces Gary Kubiak.

It’s unknown whether and to what extent the Texans will be paying a buyout to Penn State to secure O’Brien’s services. His most recent contract pegged the cost of an NFL team securing his services at nearly $7 million.

O’Brien becomes the latest former Belichick assistant to become an NFL head coach. Others such as Romeo Crennel (twice), Josh McDaniels, and Eric Mangini (twice) have not fared well as head coaches at the pro level.

The Texans fired Kubiak more than three weeks ago. They ultimately interviewed only three candidates -- O’Brien, former Bears coach Lovie Smith, and interim head coach Wade Phillips. The Texans opted not to wait for the opportunity to interview Chargers coach Ken Whisenhunt.