STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is about to hit the road.
The Nittany Lions' new leader is embarking on a nine-day, 18-stop bus tour spread over the next three weeks. The extensive meet-and-greet trip might even make a presidential candidate blush.
The first stop is Philadelphia on Monday.
It's not unusual for a rookie head coach of such a high-profile team to be so pro-active with outreach. With an alumni base of more than a half-million strong across the country, Penn State draws a passionate football following.
But not only is O'Brien succeeding the late Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno, but he's also trying to get the program and its fans focused on the future after scandal dominated the headlines for much of the past six months.