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Penn State Coaching Search: Joe Paterno Issues Statement On Bill O'Brien Hiring

Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno has issued a statement to the Associated Press on the university's hiring of the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien. The statement reads as follows, via PennLive.com.

"I understand Bill O’Brien has been named head coach and I want to congratulate him on his appointment," Paterno said in a statement to the AP provided by his family. "I don’t know Bill, but I respect his coaching record, and I am particularly pleased we share a connection to my alma mater, Brown."

"Despite recent commentary to the contrary, Penn State football has always been about more than winning," Paterno added, citing what he said was the program’s commitment to education and community service. "I am hopeful this tradition will continue."

O'Brien replaces the 85-year old Paterno, who was fired on Nov. 9 in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

For the latest on Penn State's hiring of Bill O'Brien, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.