Pelini, Barnes under new YSU contract terms

Penguins football coach’s base salary at $200,538 but with more bonus opportunities

By Brian Dzenis


Youngstown State football coach Bo Pelini is set to make more money in his second contract with the Penguins.

The Vindicator obtained Pelini’s contract and the contract of YSU women’s basketball coach John Barnes via a Freedom of Information Act request. Both coaches signed new deals during this past offseason.

Pelini’s contract runs through the 2021 season, expires on Feb. 28, 2022 and has a base salary of $200,538. It’s a drop from his previous deal’s mark of $213,894, but he can make more money through bonuses.

Pelini will receive an additional $50,000 in marketing compensation after not receiving marketing compensation in the last four years. His bonuses in nearly every category have increased. His reward for winning the Missouri Valley football Conference increased from $3,000 to $15,000. If the Penguins reach the postseason, he’ll receive a bonus that starts at $7,500 and ends with $25,000 if the team wins a national title.

If the team’s academic progress rate matches or exceeds the lowest average in either the MVFC or FCS, he’ll receive a bonus of $35,000. Under his previous deal, if the team’s APR was higher than the NCAA standard, he received $12,000. Just like his previous deal, Pelini will receive a $400 per month car allowance and membership to a local country club.

Barnes will earn a base salary of $164,327 during his four-year deal with a university option for an extra year that extends his deal through the 2023-24 season.

For bonuses, his reward for being among the top four teams in the Horizon League start at $5,000 for fourth place going up to $20,000 for first place. The reward for winning a conference title is $10,000 and Barnes will earn an additional $5,000 for every NCAA tournament game the team participates in and $2,500 per game in a non-NCAA tourney postseason game.

He can earn up to $5,000 for being among the top 50 teams in RPI. If the team has an APR higher than the minimum allowed by the NCAA to be in the postseason, Barnes gets $20,000. If the team’s grade-point average is higher than 3.25 in the fall semester, he gets an additional $2,500. He gets an additional marketing compensation of $2,500. Like Pelini, Barnes gets a $400 per month car allowance.