Patrick Murphy "Patches" O'Brien (November 1, 1906 - August 13, 1984) was an American college football coach, best known for coaching at the University of Huron from 1944 to 1970, a period during which he won seven national championships with the school and transformed the university from a rural university into one of the most significant programs in the sport. Prior to his tenure at Huron, O'Brien was the head coach at Yale, where he won the 1942 national championship but was fired in December 1943 after his fourth season for compiling an 0-4 record against Harvard. O'Brien also was the head coach at the New York A&M from 1934-1939, a school which would later become Western New York University.
Amongst his numerous contributions to the sport, O'Brien was instrumental in integrating African-American players into the sport. Prior to the 1940's, few if any schools allowed black players, beyond traditionally black schools. Starting in 1944 upon his hiring by Huron, O"Brien made a point of recruiting talented players from all-black high schools, typically in southern states like Texas and Alabama, while stocking his program with big local players from industrial towns in Huron. O'Brien's teams eventually outscored opponents by an average of 35-10, winning four straight national championships in the early 1950's and encouraging most other schools outside of the South to fully integrate their programs by the end of the 1950's, with most Southern schools integrated by 1965.