Penn State's football coach says following Joe Paterno in the job is an honor.

Bill O'Brien said in a statement Sunday after Paterno died that the school and all college football have suffered a great loss.

Paterno, who won more games than any other major college coach, was fired in November in the midst of a child sex abuse scandal that centered on a retired Penn State assistant coach. The school hired O'Brien, the New England Patriots offensive coordinator, this month.

He says Penn State is one of the game's iconic programs because "it was led by an icon in the coaching profession."

He also offers condolences to Paterno's family on behalf of the team.