Youngstown State University agreed to terms with head football coach Eric Wolford on a one-year contract extension through the 2015 season. The contract was finalized just before the start of the season on Aug. 26.
Although Wolford’s contract extends through the 2015 season, YSU has the option to buyout Wolford’s last season for $100,000 if the Penguins finish with a record of 7-5 or worse.
YSU athletic director Ron Strollo said negotiations started last March, but were unable to be completed until just before the start of the season.
“We actually decided to give him the extension at the end of last season, but with recruiting and spring ball and with the change of the administration here, we were just able to get it finalized before the season started,” Strollo said. “It’s really a two-year contract. It was able to provide our recruits and our assistant coaches the stability that they earned.”
The contract leaves many questions as to what is to happen after the 2015 season, but those questions will be answered on the field over the next two seasons. Strollo believes Wolford is the answer for the Penguins long term, but a long term extension most likely won’t be signed until after the 2015 season.
“I think it goes with any coach — those decisions are determined at the end of the year, but we expect coach Wolford to be our football coach for the long term,” Strollo said.
Wolford is coming off of an 8-4 season in which the Penguins started out 8-1 before losing the final three games of the season. The 8-1 start was the best in 12 years.
Since he took over the program in 2010, he has led YSU to a 25-22 record. He also led YSU to its first ever win against a BCS opponent in 2012, when YSU beat the University of Pittsburgh 31-17.
Coach Wolford has also placed a high standard on academics during the past four seasons. The YSU football team has had its highest GPA in school history since 2010; in 2013, 45 football players had a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
YSU is 1-1 this season under Wolford’s direction.