Pelini focused on football, not his contract

Pelini is in final year of a 4-year deal at YSU

By Brian Dzenis

August can be a murky time in college football.

As teams start to report to camp, certain positions are unsettled.

At Youngstown State, the future of head coach Bo Pelini remains open-ended.

Pelini is in the final year of his four-year pact with the Penguins and the Youngstown native said he hasn’t had any talks with the university about his future.

“It’s something that when the time comes, we’ll talk about it. It’s something that I’m not really concerned with right now,” Pelini said. “It’s business as usual right now. I’m excited about this upcoming year. That’s what I’m focused on.

“There will be a time and a place for that.”

His $213,894 deal expires on Feb. 28, 2019. It’s the same time when Pelini’s previous employer, Nebraska, is done paying $7.65 million of buyout money after the Huskers fired Pelini following the 2014 season.

He’s gone 23-15 in three seasons in Youngstown, a run that includes a trip to the Football Championship Subdivision National Championship in 2016 and last year’s 6-5 campaign that ended with the Penguins missing the playoffs.

YSU athletic director Ron Strollo said he’s fine with waiting until the end of the season to broach the subject with Pelini.

“At the end of the year, we’ll have our evaluations and deal with it like we would any coach,” Strollo said.

From both an athletic and academic standpoint, Strollo is a fan of Pelini.

“We think he’s on the cusp of getting this program back to where we want it to be,” Strollo said. “Our hope is that he’s here for a long time and I hope we’ve made it a great place to work for him.”


Four Penguins players have made the Missouri Valley Football Preseason Team, the conference announced on Tuesday. All of the players were first-team selections and seniors.

Running back Tevin McCaster, one of two backs in the MVFC to top 1,000 yards rushing, was one of the three backs selected. He’s joined by center Vitas Hrynkiewicz and guard Gavin Wiggins as well as long-snapper Steven Wethli. The Penguins’ four selections tie North Dakota State for most first-team selections for offense.

The defensive preseason team will be announced today.

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