During his time calling the plays in Atlanta, O'Brien pushed the Yellow Jackets into the top spot among ACC teams in passing offense, while rating third in scoring offense. In addition to the aerial attack, O'Brien also orchestrated Tech's first 1,000 yard rusher since the 1995 season, when tailback Joe Burns passed the mark. Overall, O'Brien placed five players on the ACC first and second teams.
A graduate of Brown University, where he was a three-year letter-winner at outside linebacker for the Bears, O'Brien graduated in 1992 with a bachelor of arts degree with a double concentration in political science and organizational behavior management.
After graduation, O'Brien coached for two seasons at his alma mater coaching the tight ends and then linebackers.