Youngstown State is looking for a new head football coach.
Bo Pelini, a childhood friend of Mark Stoops and Vince Marrow, is leaving the FCS program to become Ed Orgeron’s defensive coordinator. Pelini previously won a National Championship as LSU’s defensive coordinator from 2005-07.
The vacancy in his hometown could entice Marrow to jump into a head coaching role. As Kentucky fans know all too well, Marrow is an excellent recruiter in the area. There’s no doubt in my mind he could find enough players to win quickly. Success at Youngstown State has turned into big jobs for other former coaches of the Penguins. Jim Tressel won four FCS titles before winning a BCS title with Ohio State. Pelini will be getting paid around $2.5 million a year to call LSU’s defense after taking Youngstown State to an FCS Championship Game.
If Marrow is approached by Youngstown State, it wouldn’t be the first time another school called Stoops’ righthand man. UK’s associate head coach previously turned down the opportunity to be Jim Harbaugh’s recruiting coordinator at Michigan. The connection Marrow shares with his old friend may supersede any connection to his hometown school.
There are also monetary considerations in taking this job. Pelini was paid just over $213,000 when he first took the Youngstown State job, a price that was easy to accept because Nebraska still owed him $128,000 a month for five years. Marrow made $600,900 in 2019 — nearly three times more than Pelini’s starting YSU salary — and is set to make more than $625,000 in 2020.
There’s one other facet of the equation that may eliminate Marrow from consideration. When Bo Pelini signed a contract extension in 2019, he brought in his brother, Carl Pelini, to call the defense. According to FootballScoop, that included an implicit agreement that Carl would eventually succeed Bo at YSU.
The dust is still settling from Bo Pelini’s departure in Youngstown. If the reins aren’t immediately handed over to his brother, Marrow will almost certainly be on Youngstown State’s short list of candidates. It would not be the first time a Mark Stoops assistant has been considered for a head coaching job elsewhere.