New Penn State head coach Bill O'Brien is on campus this week to take part in the mourning services for Joe Paterno. O'Brien issued a statement this weekend upon the passing of Paterno but on Tuesday he briefly talked about his final conversation with his predecessor. He indicated that it was a meaningful conversation, and one that left an impression on the coach as he sets out to replace the legendary figure.
Via Cory Giger of the Altoona Mirror:
"At the end of the conversation, it was clear that we shared a lot of the same beliefs, and I was very, very thrilled to have the chance to speak with him."
O'Brien led the team on Tuesday to the viewing service for Paterno, and reiterated how important it was for him to be there and for his teams to uphold the legacy and standards set by JoePa.
"The message that I told them is that it's a day to honor Coach Paterno, and then going forward we're going to work hard every day to uphold the standard of excellence that he set here on the football field and with graduating kids and how important academics were to him."
After the service, he spoke to the Letterman's Club, where he pledged to continue the traditions established by Paterno. While O'Brien prepares for the Super Bowl, it's certainly comforting to see him on campus and playing a role in the respects being paid to Paterno throughout this week.