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YSU to extend Eric Wolford through 2016 season

Published: Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.


Youngstown State head football coach Eric Wolford watches Tuesday’s practice at YSU’s WATTS. Wolford will be overseeing the team for an additional two years once the details of his contract extension are ironed out.

Youngstown State to extend Eric Wolford through 2016 season

By Joe Scalzo



Youngstown State will reward Eric Wolford with a two-year contract extension, locking up the football coach through 2016, a source said Tuesday.

Wolford has not signed the contract — the university is still finalizing details with his agent — and he will coach the 2014 season under the terms of his original five-year deal, which he signed in the February of 2010. The extension should be finished in the next 30 days.

Wolford’s original contract called for him to make $200,000 per season — thanks to raises, he now makes about $215,000 per year — and receive an additional $50,000 per year in marketing income for things like TV and radio show appearances.

“I haven’t had any negotiation or anything with my extension,” Wolford said following Tuesday’s practice. “All that stuff’s done with my agent. I’m sure we’ll get something resolved and when it’s resolved, I’ll sign.”

YSU athletic director Ron Strollo announced plans to extend Wolford in mid-January. Wolford is 24-21 in four seasons but has increased his win total each year, including an 8-4 mark last fall. The Penguins have missed the playoffs by one game each of the last three years.

“If you continue to improve and do things right, good things happen,” Wolford said. “I can’t control whether a committee decides to put us in [the playoffs] or not. It’s not my call.”

Still steaming

Youngstown State started last season 8-1 before losing its last three games to Northern Iowa, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.

“Obviously we’re disappointed with the way the season ended after such a hot start,” senior tight end Nate Adams said. “It was one of those shots to the stomach, something we don’t ever want to have happen again. That’s why we’re working hard now on the field and in the classroom and in the weight room, doing everything we can to get an edge.”

When asked how long it took for him to get over it, Adams said, “I’m still not over it. I’ll wait until we get into the playoffs next year to get over it.”

Junior defensive tackle Steve Zaborsky agreed, saying the last month left a bad taste in the players’ mouths.

“To start out hot and go 8-1 and come up short like that, we can’t let that happen again,” said Zaborsky, a Fitch High graduate. “We just had our [postseason] banquet and to let the seniors go out the way we did, it’s kind of disheartening because that’s what we remember.”

QB competition close

YSU’s four quarterback candidates have split reps fairly equally through the first two practices and each has had his share of good and bad plays. Senior Dante Nania, sophomores Tanner Garry and Nick Wargo and redshirt freshman Ricky Davis are vying to replace four-year starter Kurt Hess.

“It’s a wide-open race,” Wolford said. “We want to give everyone an opportunity. I kind of get the sense here early on that some guys are pressing, trying to win the job in one day and that’s not going to happen. We’re looking for consistency, someone who can manage the football game.

“The guy who can consistently do what we ask him to do and not turn the ball over is going to win the job.”


1mishmash(333 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

WHY on earth would YSU consider renewing, let alone increasing, his contract until he performs this year.

He is barely .500 in his tenure, oozing with arrogance, and has yet to get his team ready for playoffs.

MARK THIS DOWN, YSU will renew this contract, raise his pay scale past $300,000, and the team will not perform.

Typical YSU mentality, PAY THEM MORE, BEFORE THEY LEAVE & take the $$$$$$$$$$.

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2YtownSports(306 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

“I can’t control whether a committee decides to put us in [the playoffs] or not. It’s not my call.”

None of Coach Wolford's teams... including last year's...was kept out of the playoffs by a committee. His teams were kept out by their own performance. There were several teams which were left out last season which deserved to go to the playoffs more than the Penguins. Even Northern Iowa at 7-5 was a better team than Y.S.U. The Panthers overcame a ton of injuries and finished the season on a winning streak. Y.S.U. gagged down the stretch without similar obstacles in its path.

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3Notorious_Pig(117 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago


This dirtbag fails in every facet of coaching, yet they reward him with an extension???? Smooth move, YSU! And PLEASE don't shake your heads in disbelief with 1/4th of the Ice Castle is filled on sunny, Saturday afternoons! UNREAL!!

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4Max(98 comments)posted 2 years, 4 months ago

Been waiting for this guys contract to run out, and now they extend it?? For what?!

YSU has seen the last of me and my family at the games until they wake up and realize that Wolford is not the answer. In fact, he's the PROBLEM! (And I've heard it not only from fans, but from players as well.)

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5lemmingsfollowblindly(152 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps they had to push that contract through while there is a interim president.... Personally I think Jimmy Hughes is a far more articulate speaker than the cabbage patch coach....

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6jmagaratz(189 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

4 year record for Coach Heacock was 24 and 21....

4 year record for Coach Wolford is 24 and 21....

3 years with extension for Coach Wolford takes him to 7 years....

Coach Heacock's first 7 years was 50 and 31 with a conference co-championship and conference championship; and a semi-final run in a playoff series....

Coach Wolford has three years to win 26 more games, win the conference and go though a playoff series....

Also, his first 4 years was carried on the backs of Coach Heacock's recruits--Hesse and List to mention 2--contributed greatly.....now we will begin to see the results of Coach Wolford's recruiting skills....

Anybody want to forecast the future of YSU football?

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7papa1(711 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

this is unconscionable! wolford talks about "everyone knows what the standard is at ysu." this is like notre dame under ara parsegian compared to notre dame under jerry faulk. the standard has been gone for almost twenty years! you haven't and won't hit the standard wolford. get ready parents and kids, the tuition will be going up again, soon. every year he brings in new coaches, it's ridiculous. strollo should be fired for such an idiotic decision. I say tear down stambaugh stadium and make more room for student parking. and they have a basketball coach with the best player in school history who still can't make it to the dance. the girls are better! a pitifull state of affairs.

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