Pelini likely to stay at YSU

By Brian Dzenis

A deal hasn’t been signed, but an understanding has been reached regarding Bo Pelini’s future as Youngstown State University’s football coach, athletic director Ron Strollo confirmed Saturday morning.

Strollo and Pelini met for four hours Friday and “both sides expect the relationship to continue,” Strollo said.

Pelini’s current four-year contract is slated to expire Feb. 28. Strollo said terms for his new deal will be finalized in February. No changes are expected with the rest of Pelini’s staff.

Strollo said the offseason has been business as usual for Pelini, even as the coaching carousel spun throughout December.

“He’s always been committed,” Strollo said.

Pelini did not return a call for comment.

The Cardinal Mooney graduate came to Youngstown after Nebraska fired him after the 2014 season. The Cornhuskers owed their former coach $7.65 million in buyout money that is being paid in $128,009 monthly payments. Those payments will stop at the same time his current deal with the Penguins expires.

Pelini had an annual salary of $213,894 with YSU.

He is 27-22 at YSU and is coming off a 4-7 season in 2018. In 2016, the Penguins went to the Football Championship Series national championship, losing to James Madison, 28-14.

This offseason, Pelini’s winter signing class included 11 new players, which includes local standouts such as Youngstown East defensive lineman Chris Fitzgerald and Girard quarterback Mark Waid. Waid, who threw the third-most passing yards in Ohio high school football history, switched his commitment from Fordham to YSU.

The first day of the spring signing period is Feb. 6.

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