College Football

Former NC State coaches O'Brien, Tenuta join Virginia football staff

Posted January 3, 2013
Updated January 4, 2013

Former North Carolina State head football coach Tom O'Brien is joining the University of Virginia football staff as the tight ends and associate head coach for the offense. Former NC State associate head coach for defense Jon Tenuta will also join the Cavalier staff as their associate head coach for defense and defensive coordinator.

“I was fortunate to work for Tom O’Brien at Boston College and I have so much respect for him because of the consistent success he’s experienced, while never sacrificing his beliefs and philosophies. With Tom’s experience as a head coach in the ACC and Big East for 16 seasons, I am looking forward to his insights and I’m excited that he will be able to share his knowledge with our coaches and players," said Virginia head coach Mike London.

London also announced the hiring of special teams coordinator and running backs coach Jeff Banks and promotion of Marques Hagans to full-time wide receivers coach.

NC State assistant athletics director Annabelle Myers said Thursday the university agreed to two contractual decisions with coach O'Brien prior to his departure that would allow him to take a new position.

"NC State waived his non-compete clause so that he could fully pursue other coaching opportunities. Second, NC State agreed to pay a lump sum of $200,000 as complete satisfaction of the university's obligation to pay liquidated damages under the remaining years in the contract," athletics director Debbie Yow said in a statement.

By agreeing to those terms, NC State avoids having to buy O'Brien out for the remaining two years of his contract and he is free to take another job.

"We wish Coach O'Brien well in the future and appreciate his contributions to NC State Athletics," Yow stated.

O'Brien is familiar with Virginia, having spent fifteen years working for head coach George Welsh. From 1982-1996, O'Brien served as the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. In 1997, he took the head coaching position at Boston College and then at NC State in 2007.

O'Brien will earn a $150,000 signing bonus in addition to his $450,000 per year two year contract. At the end of two years he is eligible to receive an additional $300,000 bonus.

Tenuta has served as defensive coordinator at Marshall, Kansas State, SMU, Ohio State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame during his 32 seasons as a college coach. Tenuta graduated from Virginia in 1982 afterearning three letters as a defensive back from 1978-80.

His contract is for five years and he will receive annual compensation totaling $500,000.

After six seasons and a 40-35 record, O'Brien was fired from NC State on Nov. 26 and much of his staff was not retained.


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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 4, 8:23 p.m.

    Deacon, which of the 35 bowls is a "low level' bowl. Which bowls are high level? The BCS... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    I think we all know the BCS bowls are the "high bowls", but I agree that getting to a bowl means a lot to the players. A lot of people complain that "bad" 6-6 teams go to "bad" bowls, but I think when they begin having playoffs some of these "lower tier" bowls may disappear. At any rate, no one forces us to watch the so-called "bad bowls", and they do provide extra practice for the players and revenue for the conferences.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jan 4, 8:18 p.m.

    I'm stunned at this move. I didn't expect TOB to retire - he's too young and he probably still... View More

    — Posted by GunnyGoesArrrgh

    And hes not a very good recruiter nor can he assemble a good coaching staff & not very good... View More

    — Posted by conrad27713

    Maybe TOB will flourish in the role of an Associate Head Coach; he won't have as many responsibilities. Good to see you back here, Conrad.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Jan 4, 5:34 p.m.

    Great news for TOB, State, and dare I say, Virginia.

  • takeabathgreg Jan 4, 4:00 p.m.

    lmao I guess virginia did not pay attention to how bad a in game coach opie was...also why would he take this job and not the money from the wuffies??obviously the man is an nitwit!!!

  • I am not who you think I am Jan 4, 3:44 p.m.

    Deacon, which of the 35 bowls is a "low level' bowl. Which bowls are high level? The BCS made for TV games the fake NC.. What is the purpose of a bowl game?.. recruiting, extra practice time, reward for a winning season, $$ earned for the conference and school Tell the players that went to a low level bowl after they went thru extra practice and gave up their holidays

    These kids got to play in a bowl game an experience of a lifetime

  • I am not who you think I am Jan 4, 3:41 p.m.

    6 yrs was not enough time to rebuild a program for you, and when was the last time did State or UNC even won their last ACC fball titles ? Why dont you try saying 1979 & 80, thats how long ? conrad

    Since it has been 79' or 80' for either NCSU or UNC that would have more to say about the ability to keep top local talent coming into the schools than coaching. If it has been 30 years blaming O'Brien for the last 6 is ridiculous. He wasn't brought in to bring the program to the "next level" whatever that is. He arrived to clean up from the previous coach. Doren(sp) wont take NCSU to the "next level" either he will be gone before it happens look at his record

  • Deacons Jan 4, 1:59 p.m.

    [quote=11941784]Post by conrad27713[/quote
    I agree. Going to low level bowls means nothing.

  • Raleigh Rocks 1 Jan 4, 1:28 p.m.

    conrad, he said nothing about rebuilding, he said consistent winning seasons and bowl game every year.

    NC state had that.

  • conrad27713 Jan 4, 12:34 p.m.

    great hire for UVA. The expectations of the football program at UVA are different they want 8... View More

    — Posted by I am not who you think I am

    6 yrs was not enough time to rebuild a program for you, and when was the last time did State or UNC even won their last ACC fball titles ? Why dont you try saying 1979 & 80, thats how long ?

  • Gr8FunMan Jan 4, 12:23 p.m.

    I wish both of them the very best. They took The Pack as far as they could, but could never make it to that next level. They fielded teams that were inconsistent, poorly prepared, and under-motivated. I hope we all learned some things.




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