You would be hard-pressed to dig through the annals of college football history and find another coach that was under more pressure in his first season at the helm than Penn State Nittany Lion‘s head coach, Bill O’Brien. Taking over a program that was about as close to a death sentence worth of NCAA penalties as the Nittany Lions were, O’Brien guided the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record after dropping the first two games of his tenure to begin the season, all while also being named the Big Ten Coach of the Year in the process.
After bringing home the Big Ten Coach of the Year trophy to solidify his accomplishments and then spurning a few offers from NFL organizations to take over their squads, I–like many others–felt O’Brien should have been financially rewarded for not only his success, but also his loyalty.
On Thursday, the Penn State administration agreed with that sentiment.
O’Brien and the administration sat down and amended the coach’s current contract, and it was more than the right thing that needed to be done. The coach was given nearly a million dollar raise. His salary will jump from $950,000 to $1,932,779.
In addition to the salary jump, O’Brien will also be able to earn bonuses that he normally would be able to, if sanctions were not in place. Taking into account the team’s record, records of other teams in the conference, estimated chances of success and other factors, the coach will be able to collect an annual bonus of up to $2,000.
One last important tidbit that is, in this amended agreement, the coach can be reviewed annually and possibly have the contract extended, based on performance. If the Nittany Lion’s current recruiting success in any indication, it may not be long before we have more news about O’Brien being rewarded even more for his efforts.
Today’s events are long overdue for a man who not only took a job that no one else wanted, but then promptly succeeded when not a soul in this great country of ours thought he could. The man basically stuck his hand in the fire, and came out unscathed. He committed himself to a cause and hasn’t wavered one iota.
Now, deservedly, the coach can commit himself to making some pretty nice renovations to his State College residence. And, no one deserves it more.