Navy head football coach Ken Niumatalolo announced Thursday that Dan O’Brien has been hired as an assistant outside linebackers coach. O’Brien will assist Justin Davis, who will be entering his eighth year at Navy and his fourth year coaching the outside linebackers.
“We are very excited to welcome Dan and his lovely wife Alicia to our Naval Academy family,” said Niumatalolo. “He is a young coach with a very impressive resume. He has worked with the New England Patriots, one of the best organizations in the NFL, and he worked for four years at the University of Alabama under the best coach in college football. He was highly recommended by the best in our profession. The Naval Academy is in his blood, being the son of Naval Academy grad and former Navy assistant coach, Tom O’Brien, and we are excited for all that he will add in the development of our young men.”
“I’m excited to be a part of the staff at the Naval Academy,” said O’Brien. “Navy has an excellent football program built on a long history and winning tradition. Not only is it a great program to be a part of, but it is also an important place for my family as both by my father and uncle, Sean O’Brien, graduated from the Academy. I’m excited for the opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”
O’Brien comes to Navy from Elon, where he was the defensive backs coach the past three years.
Prior to working at Elon, O’Brien spent four seasons as a defensive analyst and defensive graduate assistant at Alabama under the tutelage of Nick Saban and Kirby Smart. In O’Brien’s four years at Alabama, the Crimson Tide went 43-11 and won the 2009 BCS National Championship. The Crimson Tide ranked fifth nationally in total defense, third in scoring defense and 10th in rushing defense in 2010 and ranked third in all three categories in 2009.
O’Brien has also had experience as a scouting assistant intern with the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick in 2005 and spent a year at Harvard working with the safeties in 2006.
O’Brien’s father, Tom (’71), was a three-year starter at defensive end for Navy and, after serving nine years in the Marine Corps, returned to Navy as an assistant coach for George Welsh from 1975-81. O’Brien went on to become the head coach at both Boston College and North Carolina State and is currently the Assistant Head Coach at Virginia.
O’Brien is a 2005 graduate of Boston College where he earned his communications degree and served as a student coach.