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Landing Mark Stoops would cost YSU athletics plenty

Published: Tue, December 1, 2009 @ 12:07 a.m.

The Arizona Wildcats’ defensive coordinator is being considered to replace Jon Heacock.



YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State athletic director Ron Strollo has a million dollar question sitting on his desk.

That’s the figure that may make the difference as to whether Mark Stoops, 42, is the next football coach of the Penguins.

The contract for Stoops, currently the defensive coordinator at the University of Arizona and a Youngstown native, could be worth between $250,000 and $280,000 per year, at least double the value of former coach Jon Heacock’s deal.

Stoops, according to a source with knowledge of the situation, is also negotiating for a pool of $850,000 for his coaching staff.

The YSU counter-offer is reportedly for $750,000.

Over the length of a standard five-year contract, Stoops’ contract increase from Heacock’s, coupled with the difference in the assistants’ salaries, could mean an increase of between $1.125 million and $1.5 million for YSU.

Strollo would not confirm the offer on Monday. Through a university spokesman he said only that the process is ongoing.

Stoops also declined to comment on the YSU offer at a press conference Monday in Tucson, Ariz.

“I’ve invested too much in this program to go anywhere with this stuff until after the season,” Stoops told the Arizona Daily Star. “I’ve put too much into it, I’m too close to this program, I work for my brother [Mike Stoops] … all this stuff takes care of itself later.

“I really just care about trying to finish on a good note. To finish 8-4 here, and to have a chance to finish tied for second in this league [Pac-10] is really quite amazing.”

Arizona plays at Southern California on Saturday in the regular-season finale.

Landing Stoops would be a major hire for Strollo.

Stoops is also the brother of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and of Cardinal Mooney High defensive coordinator Ron Stoops.

Mark Porter, who operates the respected recruiting site scoutohio.com, said Stoops would bring instant credibility.

“The Stoops name is well-respected throughout the country,” he said, “and recruits would have that familiarity with him before he ever stepped in their home.”

Porter said Mid-American Conference schools, particularly Kent State and Akron, have made recruiting inroads into the Valley in recent years. He said Stoops would “level that playing field.”

He added Stoops, who has recruiting ties in Florida and Texas, could create new inroads in those states.

Stoops currently makes $283,914 at Arizona, according to a recent article in USA Today.

Heacock resigned as YSU coach on Nov. 22 with one year remaining on his contract. He compiled a 60-43 record as the Penguins’ head coach in nine seasons after succeeding Jim Tressel.

Strollo said last Monday he wanted to have a new coach named by Christmas.



1Ken(153 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

If this happens...what a great plus for YSU. And, if anyone can make it happen, it will be Strollo.
The recruiting would see an immediate positive impact for YSU.

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2OSUYSUFAN(4 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Pay the man...and get a minimum of a 5 year contract.

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3northsideperson(366 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

With all the past complaints about YSU pay scales, why would anyone want to pay this much for another "non-academic staff person"?

Oh wait, Football's as much or more important than grades in this town. My bad.

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4alpheusiam(64 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

This is an email I received from DJ Durkin in response to my email requesting that he apply for the Head Coaching position at YSU. While his name does not carry the weight of a Stoops, I think all thought and consideration should be given to this fine young man.
He's local, he's absolutely a young man who commands respect, he's is a young force to be admired, he respects the position, he's got Stanford and Notre Dame experience, area athletes will want to play for this young man, salary will not be his prime motivation, young and talented coaches will reach out to him for the opportunity he will bring them, the team SHOULD go young and fresh and vibrant, he brings west coast offense, he's the top rated special teams coach, Stanford and ND academic expectations, for him it's the opportunity of a lifetime, for Stoops it's just the next or latest of many more to come, the fans will support this kind of out of the box thinking, the big money pool being tossed around will go much further for assistants, and it goes on and on..
Listen I think that Stoops would be a great catch, but on the short term while still having this big game problem, YSU could ruin a Stoops career, on the other hand Durkin's career could be made here even with the big game losses and the resulting 2 years of no playoffs (if they figure out it's time to end the big game debacle and quit scheduling them after the next 2 years). The personal expectations are too great for a Stoops, especially if he's paid that much. No one can completely turn the program around until these next 2 futile and stupid big games are over. That will give a Durkin the time he needs to rebuild the program, Stoops could be getting what Heacock got after a few games, maybe a year. Don't get me wrong Stoops is a great choice, but it could be career suicide for him to be considered the savior.
Here's the email to me from D.J. Durkin:

Thanks so much for all of the kind words and consideration for this job opening. I agree with you that this job is an outstanding opportunity and should be looked at as a premiere job in the country. I would be honored to be considered for this opening and I truly believe that I can bring an effective approach for bringing that program back to where it belongs. I am hoping to have the opportunity to share those ideas with someone here in the near future. Thanks for your interest in me and thanks for seeking me out to share your thoughts. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Please send him you encouragement and best wishes, look him up at www.Stanford.edu/athletics. Call and email YSU and make sure they do a real and open search. Suggest they consider the opportunity youth brings to this program. Durkin class of 1997 Boardman High. 2001 Bowling Green, makes him 30 and perhaps our coach for a long time.

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5Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Awesome! Stoops is my favorite choice over many highly qualified contenders.

Victory can be costly, but is the affordable option to lose?

What is the cost of an empty Ice Castle, a depleted fan base, no post-season national broadcasts from the YSU campus, and decreased national positive exposure for the University?

I believe that other FCS schools like JMU, ODU and SU have head coach salaries > $200K.

Bring Mark Stoops back to Youngstown and bring greatness back to the Penguin football tradition.

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6alpheusiam(64 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Rob Todor, please do everyone a favor and take a good hard look at Durkin, Stoops, Treadwell, Kahres, and all the potential candidates. Don't leave this decision up to the regime at YSU alone. Get the community and fan base involved by telling the story of each candidate and force the decision into the open. As you see at least 1 of the candidates knows that a YSU head coaching job is greater then just a paycheck. It could be the opportunity of a lifetime, ask Tressel. How about you job interviewing them all? Check their resumes. In the Vindicator. Now that would be reporting.

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7whatsapenguini(1 comment)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

I can't believe Youngstate State is allowing itself to become one of THOSE type universities that are nothing more than athletic factories for professional sports, like OSU and Akron. Stay out of the "bidding war" for this Stupes guy.

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8valleyred(1102 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

It is Stoops' for the taking:

I love how people will complain about YSU hiring this man. It is true that you can NEVER satisfy everybody.

For the past 9 years you guys complained endlessly about Heacock, and now when YSU wants to hire a HUGE candidate, you still whine and complain.

You're damned if you do and damned if you don't as they like to say!

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9nubs(4 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

I think any big hire will require YSU to investigate the possibility of getting to the BCS level like the MAC

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10BGGHammer(21 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

Like YSU doesnt have the money. c'mon on man!! Stoops would be great for YSU, Strollo's first real test as AD.

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11letsgo(2 comments)posted 5 years, 12 months ago

@ Mooney1993 and alpheusiam: I couldn't agree more about Mark Stoops not being the best choice.
@ OSUYSUfan: a five year contract is exactly what we don't need! Then, when things don't work out, we pay the man for not working while we look for another highly paid savior!

I think Mr. Strollo will find his best selection in Columbia, SC (Eric Wolford) and Palo Alto (DJ Durkin). Both of these highly talented young men have strong Youngstown roots, impressive cred, and are at the right stages of their careers for YSU to make sense. They're also well connected to a network of Ohio-born young coaches with championship experiences as players and coaches. They'll reclaim recruiting in the best talent base in the country.
Going for the pricey brand name doesn't always bring you the most value; in this case, it could be Mr. Strollo's Stoop-id pick..

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