Bo Pelini was the man in charge at Youngstown State from 2015-19. And, yes, that Bo Pelini that coached Nebraska for seven consecutive seasons (2008-14).

Then, Pelini was offered the defensive coordinator job at LSU. He said goodbye to Youngstown State and hello to Baton Rouge. He is going from head coach to defensive coordinator, but the spike in pay can make up for that difference (reportedly offered $2.3 million by LSU).

With the head coaching spot open now at Youngstown State, many names have been linked to the job. Youngstown State has reportedly talked to more than a dozen initial targets and sources have said that these coaches remain as “viable candidates”:

  • James Madison offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery
  • Michigan State wide receivers coach Don Treadwell
  • Cincinnati running backs coach/special teams coordinator Doug Phillips
  • Michigan defensive backs coach Mike Zordich
  • Archbishop Hoban High School head coach Tim Tyrrell
  • Former NY Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan

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Michigan State wide receivers coach Don Treadwell coached at Miami (OH) from 2011-13 and put together an 8-21 overall record. For Michigan defensive backs coach Mike Zordich, he has never been a head coach before. In fact, Zordich has never even been a coordinator before.

His first coaching experience came in 2014 when he was Youngstown State’s safeties coach. From that point on, he has been in Ann Arbor coaching defensive backs. It should also be noted that Jim Tressel — the former Ohio State head coach — is Youngstown State’s president.

Youngstown State may not be a national power, but with the right coach, programs can see incredible leaps — just ask UCF and current Nebraska head coach Scott Frost, who took over an 0-12 team and turned it into a 13-0 one in just two years.