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Bill O’Brien is staying at Penn State.

O’Brien’s agent, Joseph Linta, said Thursday night that the Nittany Lions’ head coach garnered interest from several NFL teams for vacant jobs at the next level. But Linta said the “heartstrings” of O’Brien’s experience from Penn State’s 8-4 season in his first year outweighed the potentially big raise he could have received as an NFL head coach.

O’Brien has been lauded for guiding Penn State to a successful season following strict NCAA sanctions on Penn State for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

According to a pennlive.com blog report, O’Brien acknowledged that Buffalo Sabres owner and Penn State alumnus Terry Pegula, financier of the new Penn State hockey arena, has been a major ally in his efforts.

Sources told pennlive.com that Pegula donated a $1.3 million gift to be added to O’Brien’s salary in the coming year that will bump his total compensation to $3.6 million and place him behind only Ohio State’s Urban Meyer and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz as the third-highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.