O'Brien named Maxwell coach of the year

The Maxwell Football Club has named Penn State's Bill O'Brien as its 2012 coach of the year.

O'Brien edged out Notre Dame's Brian Kelly and Kansas State's Bill Snyder for the honor. Here's what Maxwell executive director Mark Wolpert had to say about the selection in the official news release:

"Coach O'Brien has engineered a tremendous season for the Penn State football program while overcoming obstacles that many considered to be insurmountable. The team's 8-4 record is a great testament to the hard work of Coach O'Brien and his staff, and also to the dedication shown by the student-athletes involved in the football program at Penn State."

O'Brien was also named ESPN.com's national coach of the year and is a finalist for other awards. He was chosen as Big Ten coach of the year by both the media and his fellow league coaches.

The Maxwell Club will honor O'Brien and other award winners at a ceremony on March 1 at Harrah's Atlantic City Resort. Thirty-one Penn State senior football players will also be in attendance to receive the organization's Thomas Brookshier Spirit Award.