The last time Bill O’Brien was in Philadelphia was on a New England Patriots bus leaving the city after an NFL game.
“I’m from Boston, please don’t boo that,” O’Brien joked at the DoubleTree Hotel in Philadelphia before an estimated 250 Penn State alumni and counting from the Delaware Valley.
Bill O’Brien started an 18-stop tour with other representatives from Penn State’s athletics department in Philadelphia Monday morning. The bus tour is designed to give Penn State fans and alumni a chance to interact with the head coaches of various sports teams, with O’Brien serving as the headliner along the way.
The purpose of the caravan is to give O’Brien an opportunity to get out and in front of the many Penn State alums in the state of Pennsylvania and in key recruiting states. Although the caravan is not a recruiting trip, it does get O’Brien to connect with alums that are still adjusting to life without Joe Paterno. Though Paterno has passed one, the football program will continue to follow in the footsteps of Joe Pa under O’Brien. The successor on the sideline was respectful of Paterno’s legacy and reaffirmed alums that no changes would be made to the football jerseys and the team will continue to ride to Beaver Stadium on the blue busses. O’Brien also confirmed a new tradition he would like to begin this fall.
“One tradition I would like to start is we will gather in the end zone and sing the alma mater with the band,” O’Brien said during a Q&A session during the luncheon. The crowd applauded and continued with a variety of questions about the quarterback situation, reaching out to Penn Staters and more. O’Brien also met with a small media representation before the luncheon and elaborated on a few other topics.