UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State has amended the contract of football coach Bill O’Brien, increasing his salary dramatically over the next several seasons.
O’Brien guided the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 record in his first season, despite NCAA sanctions that included a loss of scholarships and a bowl ban, and which allowed players to transfer to other programs.
The new deal, announced Thursday by Director of Athletics Dave Joyner, will pay O’Brien a base salary of $1.93 million for the 12-month period beginning July 1; $1.14 million in 2014-15; $1.65 million in 2015-16; and 5 percent annual increases thereafter.
O’Brien’s original contract, announced in January 2012, called for a base salary of $950,000 per year with a built-in 5 percent annual increase. The coach also was to receive $1 million annually from radio and television revenue and $350,000 from the university’s contract with Nike.
The contract states that O’Brien’s 2013-14 increase of $935,279 will be paid in one installment. His media and Nike bonuses remain in place, the contract shows.
“Dave and I had talked about revising Coach O’Brien’s contract at the end of the season, and these discussions moved forward with my blessing and involvement,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a university news release.
Joyner said: “In the face of great adversity, Bill did a tremendous job with all facets of the Penn State football program. This rightly recognizes Bill’s outstanding achievements in guiding our student-athletes on and off the field.”
O’Brien was selected the 2012 Bear Bryant, Maxwell Football Club and ESPN Coach of the Year after leading the Nittany Lions to eight wins in their final 10 games after an 0-2 start.
O’Brien also was selected the 2012 Big Ten-Dave McClain Coach of the Year.
The full text of the contract is posted at: http://progress.psu.edu/assets/content/Obrien_amended_employment_contract.pdf.
O’Brien’s eight wins were the most ever by a first-year Penn State coach.
Penn State returns 16 starters for the 2013 season, which begins Aug. 31 vs. Syracuse in East Rutherford, N.J.