Youngstown State head football coach Jon Heacock has signed a contract extension through the 2009 football season, YSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ron Strollo has announced.
Heacock, who owns a 32-24 overall mark in his five years as the head coach of the program, will receive a base salary of $115,000 for each campaign. Incentives for winning the Gateway Football Conference Championship, winning the National Championship, appearing in I-AA playoff games and maintaining a solid Academic Progress Rate are also part of the package.
“My family and I are very excited to continue our relationships with our extended family of assistant coaches, players, athletic staff and administration here at YSU,” Heacock said. “I appreciate the confidence and support shown by our Athletic Director Ron Strollo and University President David Sweet with this extension. Youngstown State University and the Mahoning Valley are places near and dear to my heart because the people here are absolutely tremendous.”
In 2005, Heacock led the Penguins to an impressive 8-3 overall mark, their first-ever Gateway Football Conference Championship and the program’s first national ranking since October 2002.
YSU opened the year 3-0 before losing at Division I-A BCS member Pittsburgh. Youngstown State regrouped and rattled off consecutive conference victories over Illinois State, Indiana State, Missouri State and Western Illinois. Following the four-game winning streak, the Penguins stood at 7-1. After tough road defeats at UNI and Southern Illinois, YSU closed out the regular season with an impressive 42-10 victory over 12th-ranked Western Kentucky.
The Penguins were tough to beat at home posting a perfect 6-0 mark. It was the first time since 1994 the YSU went through a regular-season unbeaten at home. In the final regular-season polls Youngstown State was ranked 13th after receiving a meager five votes in the preseason rankings.
Following the Gateway season, Heacock was named the Gateway’s Bruce Craddock Coach of the Year marking the first time since the Penguins joined the league in 1997 that a YSU head coach had earned the honor. Overall, Youngstown State had a school-record 12 all-conference selections, including five on the first team. They also had the conference’s Newcomer of the Year and had a member named first-team Academic All-Conference.
For the first time in his career he was named the American Football Coaches Association’s Division I-AA Region Four Coach of the Year making him one of four finalists for the AFCA Coach-of-the-Year Award. He was also a finalist for the Division I-AA Eddie Robinson Coach-of-the-Year Award.
In his tenure, he has had three winning seasons and on two occasions has produced eight victories in a campaign.
Before taking over as the head coach in January 2001, Heacock had been a member of the coaching staff for seven of the 10 previous years as an assistant, including spending six as the defensive coordinator.
Heacock, who originally joined the program before the 1990 campaign, was the defensive coordinator at YSU from 1992 through 1996 before going to Indiana. He returned to YSU from IU for the 2000 season to serve as the defensive coordinator and less than a year later became the fifth head coach in school history.
Contact: Mike Kern, Asst. Commissioner
Phone: (314) 421-2268
Fax: (314) 421-3505 or (314) 421-0620
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