O'Brien hopes to break Belichick curse
Penn State's embattled football program raised eyebrows over the weekend by making the decision to hire Bill O'Brien -- a man with no previous ties to PSU -- as its new head coach.
O'Brien has spent the last five seasons working under Bill Belichick for the New England Patriots, but considering how poorly other former Patriots assistants have performed as head coaches, more sad days may be in store in Happy Valley.
Prior to O'Brien, four of Belichick's assistants in New England went on to become a college or NFL head coach.
Only one owns a winning record. Former offensive coordinator Charlie Weis went 35-27 at Notre Dame but failed to reach a bowl game twice in five years. In December, Weis was named Kansas' new head coach.
Josh McDaniels served as the Patriots' offensive coordinator from 2006-08, before he began a tumultuous tenure as the head coach of the Broncos. He went 11-17 in two seasons there. McDaniels rejoined the Patriots staff Sunday.
Eric Mangini's head coaching career started strong, as he led the New York Jets to a surprising playoff berth in 2006. But his five-year career with the Jets and Cleveland Browns ended after the 2010 season with a lifetime record of 33-47. Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel went 24-40 in four seasons with the Browns.
It seems Belichick hired better assistants when he coached the Browns from 1991-95. His staff in Cleveland included Alabama's Nick Saban, Iowa's Kirk Ferentz and Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz.