From the Sarasota Herald-Tribune
ORLANDO, Fla. — The University of Central Florida extended football coach George O’Leary’s contract through 2015 Thursday, perhaps sewing up the 59-year-old until retirement.
In two years, O’Leary has helped transform UCF from one of the country’s worst NCAA Division I-A programs to one of its most promising. The Golden Knights carried the nation’s longest losing streak into last season, but ended up playing in the school’s first conference championship and bowl games on the way to an 8-5 record.
The deal delivers $1 million in the first year, with gradual increases to $1.55 million in 2015 and $500,000 in possible incentives each season. It also includes a buyout capped at $5 million, or $1 million for each remaining year on the contract, if O’Leary or UCF breaks it.
“Believe me, we have a lot of work to do. Every dollar will be surely worked,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary returned to college football at UCF in December 2003 after two years as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. He made national headlines in 2001 after resigning the head coaching job at Notre Dame when it was discovered parts of his resume, compiled long ago, had been falsified.
O’Leary was head coach at Georgia Tech from 1994 to 2001, amassing a 52-33 record and earning 2000′s national coach of the year award. He was nominated for the award again after UCF’s finish last season.
Will the next headline be- University President arrested for kidnapping.
Good for O’Leary. He has redeemed himself from the Notre Dame/resume debacle. UCF had a short lived nobody college program and he’s brought them to two straight bowl games. That’s quite a turnaround.
I’ll say this- O’Leary will never finish this contract. UCF is deluding itself. The buyout clause is expensive, but these can be overcome. If O’Leary continues to be sucessful, other programs will get interested. O’Leary’s transgressions are minor in the world of college sports. Soon they will be all forgiven and a thing of the past.
I give O’Leary and UCF 3 years or less. Five is the worst scenario I see.
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