Bo Pelini has an apparent pay raise coming his way after leading Nebraska to nine wins in his first year as the program’s head football coach.
Athletic director Tom Osborne confirmed Monday that Pelini’s contract is being reworked and that “it’s something we’ll get done I assume before too long.”
Osborne said he and Pelini have met a couple times to discuss a new contract.
“All I can tell you right now is that it is something that is in process,” Osborne said. “I have no definite timetable. It takes a while with all the people that have to sign off on it at the university. But I think we have a general agreement. We just have to get all the details worked out.”
Upon taking the job, Pelini agreed to a contract in January 2008 that provided him a guaranteed $1.1 million a year and carried through the 2012 season.
It is a salary perhaps fitting for a first-time head coach but one that also ranks 11th among Big 12 coaches. New Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads recently signed a deal for a guaranteed $1.15 million per year.
“I think you have to take a look at what the general market is,” Osborne said. “You certainly want to be competitive. That’s probably the overriding issue. I thought he did a good job this year and inherited a lot of things that needed worked on and fixed.”
Pelini has played down salary discussions when asked about the subject.
“It’s kind of like I’ve always felt — you work as hard as you can and do good things, and all that stuff takes care of itself in the end,” Pelini said the week of the Gator Bowl.
But in that same conversation he also noted that the coaching business can be a hard one.
“Unfortunately these days, longevity’s not always on your side, as volatile as the profession is right now,” he said. “So you like to make money where you can.”
Pelini has said he would like to see the pay of his assistants increased. The known base salaries of Husker assistants ranged last year from $120,000 to $225,000.
On the topic of the assistant coaches’ contracts, Osborne said: “There have been some things that have been addressed there. We’ll release it all at one time.”
As for determining Pelini’s salary, Osborne said the pressure that comes with the job in such a football-crazed state is certainly something taken into account.
“You realize that this is a program where there are high expectations and it’s an important part of the athletic department,” Osborne said. “I think he has measured up well since he’s been here, so we feel that his contract should reflect those issues.”
Reach Brian Christopherson at email@example.com or 473-7439.