Tom O’Brien is a former head football coach at both Boston College and NC State. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, he started his coaching career as an assistant offensive line coach at Navy after he served as a Marine in Virginia, California, and Japan. Moving to the University of
Virginia, O’Brien coached the offensive line and quarterbacks and then served as offensive coordinator before transitioning to Boston College.
O’Brien remains the winningest football coach in BC history. Boston College Magazine named him the Best Football Coach in their ‘Greatest All Time’ issue. BC was Co-Champion of the Big East in 2004. That same year Boston College earned the American Football Coaches Academic Achievement Award for its 100% graduation rate. In 2005, his team was ranked #1 by USA Today for best combination of athletic and academic success.
At NC State, while rebuilding that program, O’Brien dedicated the Spring Football Game in memory of Kay Yow. The team honored Coach Yow by wearing pink and donating all proceeds to Susan G. Koman For the Cure. O’Brien also served for nine years on the Board of the USMC Toys for Tots Foundation and dedicated a November home game at which toys and donations were collected. He accompanied members of his team on visits to the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base. Ending his coaching career as Assistant Head Coach at the University of Virginia, O’Brien then moved to broadcasting and spent two years as a football analyst for ESPN following which he spent two years as an analyst for the Navy Football Radio Broadcast Network.
He and his wife Jenny have three children and three grandchildren.