On Wednesday, Youngstown State University officially introduced Bo Pelini as the next Penguins Head football coach. Before taking the YSU position, Pelini coached for seven years at the University of Nebraska, finishing with a 67-27 record.
The Boardman native expressed excitement to be back in Youngstown. Though Pelini has made frequent stops back to Youngstown for recruiting and local football camps, he has never had an opportunity to return home prior to accepting the Penguins’ head coaching job.
“I gotta tell you for myself and my family, it is good to be back — it’s good to be back in town. It’s been a long time, really since I lived here and I graduated from high school,” Pelini said.
Pelini reached out to YSU when he heard the head coaching job was vacant. He decided that returning home was going to be the best decision for both his family and his career.
“I had a mutual friend reach out. It was something I was toying with,” Pelini said. “I’ve had a crazy couple weeks as far as looking at opportunities and trying to figure out for my career and first and foremost for my family and what we wanted to do. There were a lot of things being thrown at me and a lot of things being taken under consideration.
“When this job was open it was something that was very appealing to me because of family, because of friends, because it was a great place for my kids and obviously myself and my wife are both from here. It was something that was very appealing to me so I reached out and wanted to know if there was any interest on their end,” Pelini said.
Pelini is one of the most successful coaches in college football. While some have questioned Pelini’s long-term commitment to YSU, he assured Penguin fans that he is at YSU for the long haul.
“This is not a stepping stone for me; I don’t look at it that way,” Pelini said. “If I was looking to move, I would have taken one of the other opportunities. I came back here to provide a stable environment for my family, for my kids in an environment where I want to see them graduate. I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know what is going to happen down the line. I can’t say that I’m going to be here for this long or that long. I don’t even know how long they are going to want me, but in the end of the day I didn’t come here to pick up and move my kids after a year or two.”
Pelini didn’t want to make any predictions about next season, but he had one message for the YSU faithful.
“Let’s go put a championship team together,” he said. “Lets do it together, and let’s get excited about Youngstown football. That’s my message. I’m jacked up to be back…. I can say this, I don’t make bold predictions and say we’re going to do this and we’re going to do that—we are going to have a bunch of young men that will come out hard and play with passion, and they are going to play the right way. They are going to represent this community the way it deserves to be represented.
“Win-loss I don’t know where we are, I know where we are going to go. I can tell you this, the people, when they walk into the stadium and they sit their butts in those seats they are going to like the type of football that our kids play, and they are going to be represented the right way.”