In the days between when he was he was initially offered and he finally took the job, the line out of Youngstown was that Bo Pelini wouldn't leave for LSU unless Youngstown State assured him his staff would be taken care of in the even he left for Baton Rouge.
Whether that was just a negotiating tactic or not, LSU offered $2.3 million -- Youngstown State paid him roughly a tenth of that -- and Pelini took the money and left with no assurances.
Now, more than a week later, it appears many of Pelini's former staff could be looking for jobs as multiple sources tell FootballScoop that YSU has focused its search on external candidates. In fact, we're told Youngstown did not even offer Carl Pelini an interview for the head coaching position.
Youngstown State has spoken to more than a dozen candidates since Pelini's departure, and sources say the school will conduct meetings on Wednesday with the goal of having a hire in place by the end of the week. A number of initial targets and candidates have already removed themselves from the process we are told.
Among the candidates that have spoken with representatives from Youngstown and are believed to still be viable candidates, sources say, are 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 and former NY Giants and Tampa Bay Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan.
Unsurprisingly, all have strong connections to the state of Ohio and/or to YSU president Jim Tressel.
Both Montgomery and Treadwell are former head coaches at Miami (Ohio); Montgomery went 17-31 from 2005-08, and Treadwell 8-21 from 2011-13. Both men also worked previously for Tressel; Montgomery as YSU's offensive coordinator from 2010-17 (Tressel took over as Youngstown State's president in 2014), and Treadwell was Tressel's first offensive coordinator as Penguins head coach, from 1986-91.
Tyrrell has been the head coach at Archbishop Hoban in Akron since 2013. He played and coached for Tressel at Youngstown State, helping the Penguins to Division I-AA national titles in 1993, '94 and '97 as tackles and tight ends coach.
Zordich is a Youngstown native whose first on-the-field coaching job came as Youngstown State's safeties coach in 2014. He left the following year to coach defensive backs for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan, where he has remained ever since.
Phillips, also a Youngstown native, coached multiple positions on Tressel's YSU staff from 1991-92. He has spent almost all of his career in the Buckeye State, working under Luke Fickell at Ohio State before following him to Cincinnati. Phillips also has 15 years' experience coaching in the Ohio high school ranks.
Sources say Tressel has consulted with longtime college and NFL assistant coach Mike Sullivan throughout the search. Sullivan coached defensive backs for Tressel at YSU from 1997-98 before joining the NFL, where he rose to offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New York Giants. He last coached quarterbacks for the Denver Broncos in 2018.
While each of the above have spoken with Youngstown State representatives, more candidates could sit for in-person interviews, which are expected to be determinative as to who gets the job. Youngstown State wants to have the next head Penguin in place by the end of the week.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.