YSU to extend Wolford’s contract

YOUNGSTOWN – It’s not done yet, but a deal extending Youngstown State University football coach Eric Wolford’s contract is in the works.

YSU athletic director Ron Strollo confirmed that the university is in the process of finding a way to keep Wolford, who is entering the final year of his initial five-year deal.

“We intend on coach Wolford being our coach for a while,” Strollo said. “As a lot of people know, he’s entering his final year. We have not extended him yet, but at some point during this recruiting period – over the next month or two – we plan on putting something together to extend his contract out. In the near future, we’re going to work out the details.”

Wolford went 24-21 in his first four years leading the Penguins, improving the team’s overall record each season (3-8 in 2010, 6-5 in 2011, 7-4 in 2012 and 8-4 in 2013). Yet, YSU has failed to make the playoffs during his tenure, falling a win short each of the last two seasons. The Penguins lost their final three games this past year and lost four straight in October of 2012, which sealed their fate both times.

Strollo said he understands the frustration of some fans, but he believes YSU will soon reach its goals.

“You feel like the program, although it hasn’t hit the levels we want it to, there’s sure reason to feel like we’re heading the right direction,” he said. “You could look at the win at North Dakota State (in 2011); the win at Pitt (in 2012). We were one game away, or a potential catch away, from having (ESPN’s) College Gameday here. And, probably the last three years, we were one of the last ones out of the playoffs. We’re getting closer, and I think we’ve build a foundation, and we hope to continue it.”