Bo Pelini has resigned his position as Head Football Coach at Youngstown State to become the Defensive Coordinator for College Football Playoff Champion LSU, Coach Pelini, LSU and the YSU Athletics Department announced on Monday.
Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ron Strollo said a national search will begin immediately.
Pelini, a native of Youngstown and graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School, took over the YSU program in December 2014. In his five seasons with the Penguins, Pelini posted a 33-28 record as the head coach. He has a career mark of 100-55 which includes seven full seasons at Nebraska.
Pelini's YSU tenure was highlighted by an appearance in the 2017 FCS National Championship Game. The Penguins entered the playoffs unseeded before reeling off four straight wins to reach the title game. YSU defeated Samford and Wofford at home and upset No. 3 seed Jacksonville State and No. 2 seed Eastern Washington on the road. YSU lost in the National Championship Game to James Madison. The Penguins posted a 12-4 record in 2016 while appearing in the national title game for the first time since 1999.
Following the season, YSU had two selections in the NFL Draft – Derek Rivers (New England Patriots) and Avery Moss (New York Giants). The program had not had a draft pick since 1998.
Pelini picked up his 100th career head coaching victory on Nov. 23 in the Penguins' 21-3 win over Illinois State at Stambaugh Stadium.
Statements from Coach Bo Pelini
"The past five years have been terrific. I can't thank President Jim Tressel and Ron Strollo enough for the opportunity here and support along the way. For all of the people, honestly too many to name, who were part of my YSU experience, I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you."
"The experience for me professionally to coach my hometown university and to appear in a championship game, is something I will always treasure. For Mary Pat and I, Youngstown will always hold an element of home for us with our children graduating from Cardinal Mooney High School and so many of our family members residing here. My YSU days will always be special for the entire Pelini family."
"And trust me, I will be checking in every week in the fall to follow the Penguins as they continue to build on our successes and I know they have great days ahead."
"The opportunity to return to LSU is truly unique. Culturally, with my prior experience at LSU, I know it is a great fit for me. The chance to work with Coach (Ed) Orgeron, the ability to take charge of the Tigers defense. All of that in a place that both my family and I immensely enjoyed when we were there before is very exciting for us. We are very honored and looking forward to this next chapter."
Statement from Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ron Strollo
"We'd like to thank Coach Pelini for the passion that he brought on the field and for returning home to lead our program the past five seasons. We wish Bo and his family the best of luck in their future. The Youngstown State football program is very special to this community and we will work tirelessly to find someone to build on what Coach Pelini established here."