YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Bo Pelini is leaving Youngstown State as head football coach, and has been officially hired as the defensive coordinator at LSU.
Pelini’s coaching staff and players were informed of the move Monday afternoon.
In five seasons at YSU, Pelini has led the Penguins to a record of 33-28. He led the program to an appearance in the 2017 FCS National Championship game.
YSU released the following comments from Pelini and Athletic Director Ron Strollo.
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.”
YSU has struggled in the last three campaigns, posting a record of just 9-15 in Missouri Valley Conference action without a playoff appearance.
Last fall, the Penguins posted a record of 6-6.
Pelini is no stranger to the LSU program. He was the Tigers’ defensive coordinator from 2005 to 2007.
The YSU Athletic Department will begin a national search for Pelini’s replacement immediately.