STATE COLLEGE - After an 8-4 season despite unprecedented adversity, Penn State's Bill O'Brien was named the Maxwell Football Club's Collegiate Coach of the Year Wednesday.

This is the second national honor for the first-year head coach, who took over a program that had been heavily sanctioned after the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

O'Brien, who was also named ESPN Coach of the Year, will be honored by the Maxwell Club on March 1 at Harrah's Atlantic City Resort.

"Coach O'Brien has engineered a tremendous season for the Penn State football program while overcoming obstacles that many considered to be insurmountable," Mark Wolpert, Maxwell Football Club executive director, said in a statement. "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 became the first head coach to win eight games in his inaugural season at Penn State. After Penn State started the year 0-2, it won eight of its final 10 games to finish second in the Big Ten's Leaders Division.

O'Brien, also the Big Ten's Coach of the Year, is a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year and the Bear Bryant Coach of the Year. He was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year that Notre Dame's Brian Kelly won.