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Penn State coach Bill O'Brien has reached an agreement with the Houston Texans to become the team's new coach, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora has confirmed. O'Brien replaces Gary Kubiak, who was fired on Dec. 6 after the Texans loss their 11th game in a row.
The Texans are expected to introduce O'Brien as the team's new coach by the end of the week, La Canfora has reported.
Although he's coming from the college ranks, O'Brien does have five seasons of NFL coaching experience under his belt. O'Brien was an assistant under Bill Belichick in New England from 2007-11. The 44-year-old was the Patriots offensive coordinator in 2011, when New England made it to Super Bowl XLVI.
O'Brien replaced Joe Paterno at Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal and despite facing various sanctions, O'Brien was able to lead the Nittany Lions to a 15-9 record over two seasons at the school. O'Brien was named Big Ten coach of the year in 2012 after leading Penn State to an 8-4 record in his first year on the job.
The Texans originally interviewed O'Brien just after Christmas and obviously liked him enough to make him the team's third head coach in franchise history less than a week after the interview.
Texans owner Bob McNair is going to take a hit in the pocketbook to make this hire. O'Brien's buyout at Penn State is almost $6.5 million. O'Brien actually renegotiated his contract at Penn State last summer, before that happened, his NFL buyout was almost $20 million.
O'Brien's walking into a pretty good situation in Houston. He'll take over a team that's made the postseason in two of the past three seasons. Not to mention, the Texans also have the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.