Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien of the New England Patriots looks...

Offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien of the New England Patriots looks on from the sideline in a game against the Buffalo Bills. (Jan. 1, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien has agreed to become Penn State's new head football coach.

Two people in the NFL with knowledge of the search told The Associated Press that O'Brien has told them he will replace fired coach Joe Paterno. Another person told the AP that details of the terms still need to be set.

ESPN first reported Thursday an announcement would be made Saturday and that O'Brien would stay with the Patriots through the postseason.

Division I's winningest coach with 409 victories, Paterno was fired Nov. 9 in the aftermath of child sex abuse charges against retired defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. O'Brien has no apparent ties to Penn State and his selection may not sit well with several prominent former players or some alumni. Former standout linebackers LaVar Arrington and Brandon Short had organized a petition in support of interim coach Tom Bradley's candidacy. Bradley is a 33-year veteran of the Penn State staff and defensive coordinator since 2000. -- AP

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access