Getty ImagesBuffalo Sabres owner Terry Pegula is Penn State. Like, literally. He’s the reason the Nittany Lions have a Div. I hockey program and a gorgeous arena. Apparently, he’s also the reason the Penn State football program still has a head coach.
According to David Jones of Penn Live, Bill O’Brien was courted heavily by NFL teams, but he’s coming back to Penn State for the 2013 season. Why? Thank you, Mr. Pegula:
O'Brien acknowledged that PSU donor Terry Pegula, financier of the new Penn State hockey arena, has been a major ally in his efforts. Pegula was the first person who contacted O'Brien in late 2011 when he was eventually interviewed for the job.
Though O'Brien was not specific about it, high-level PSU sources have told me that a $1.3 million donation is to be added to O'Brien's salary in the coming year that will bump his total compensation to $3.6 million and place him behind only Ohio State's Urban Meyer ($4.3M) and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz ($3.8M) as the third-highest-paid coach in the Big Ten.
The Buffalo News puts two and two together, and sees Pegula’s generous gift as the reason O’Brien is staying.
So there you go Penn State: For the price of one Pat Kaleta or Cody McCormick, Bill O’Brien remains the team’s head coach.