RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina State appears ready to hire Boston College’s Tom O’Brien as its new football coach, according to multiple reports.

The reports on broadcast and Web reports were based on unidentified sources, though San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers – a four-year starter who left N.C. State as the school’s all-time passing leader – told a newspaper Wednesday that O’Brien was the choice to replace fired coach Chuck Amato.

“I got a call this morning and they said it was a done deal,” Rivers told the North County Times in Escondido, Calif.

ESPN reported on its Web site that N.C. State’s board scheduled a meeting for Friday to approve O’Brien’s contract.

O’Brien led the Eagles to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the Meineke Car Care Bowl against Navy later this month. He dismissed rumors linking him to other coaching jobs in a statement to The Boston Globe on Wednesday.

“I’m not a candidate for any job,” he said. “My focus is on preparing Boston College to take on Navy on Dec. 30.”

Boston College athletics director Gene DeFilippo did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment.

“That’s one of a thousand rumors that coming out of there,” sports information director Chris Cameron said. “We’ve had no comments from Tom and no comments from Gene.”

N.C. State fired Amato – a former Wolfpack linebacker – the day after his team closed the season with seven straight losses to finish 3-9. Amato was 49-37 and led the Wolfpack to five bowl games in seven seasons, but he went just 25-31 in the Atlantic Coast Conference and never finished higher than fourth.

The program has finished with a losing record in two of the three seasons since Rivers went to the NFL.

N.C. State athletics director Lee Fowler could not be reached by phone Wednesday night. His phone’s mailbox was full. Annabelle Myers, assistant athletics director for media relations, said the school had no plans for any announcement Wednesday night.

AP-ES-12-06-06 2351EST


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