It's not uncommon for opposing coaches in college football to have crossed paths before meeting on the field, and this week's matchup between Bill O'Brien and Steve Addazio will feature two coaches who are quite familiar with one another. O'Brien addressed his relationship with Temple's Addazio during his press conference this week, and provided a timeline of the intertwined history between the two:
I probably met Steve when he was at Syracuse on a really excellent Syracuse staff with Coach Pasqualoni. Met him at that time. He'll probably be mad at me for saying this, but he's a little bit older than me, so I was a young coach and met him at that time.
There was a time there when we were going to be at Notre Dame together for about a day. He was at Notre Dame and Coach O'Leary I believe was going to keep him there. So that was a time there, too.
So I wouldn't say that we've known each other for 30 years, but we know each other and have a lot of respect for each other.
Both rose to their current positions while serving as offensive coordinators for two of the best in the game, Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer. Each coach faced an uphill battle when taking the job, with Addazio trying to make the Owls competitive as they transition back to the Big East and O'Brien inheriting a program hit with heavy NCAA sanctions. But O'Brien said Addazio reached out to him in the offseason to show support for the first-time head coach in an unenviable situation:
We've talked on the phone during the off‑season, and he's been very supportive of Penn State and what we're trying to do here. I really appreciate that.
They'll finally meet on the field this Saturday at Beaver Stadium, with kick scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET.
For more on the Nittany Lions Week 4 game against Temple, visit Black Shoe Diaries.