Six weeks after getting the boot at North Carolina State, Tom O’Brien has taken a new job thanks to a little give on the part of his old employer.
In a release, Virginia announced Thursday night that O’Brien was one of four assistants hired by Mike London as the head coach continues reshaping his staff. O’Brien will serve as associate head coach for offense as well as tight ends coach.
“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,” said London in a statement. “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. He is someone I trust and I value his opinions and evaluations.
“Tom has coached some of the conference’s most dynamic offensive players over the course of his career and he will play a significant role in the development of our offense.”
It took a little bit of contractual work for London to land O’Brien, however. As part of O’Brien’s buyout after he was dismissed by North Carolina State, there was a non-compete clause that prevented him from taking a job in the ACC for the next four years. In exchange for NCSU waiving that clause, O’Brien accepted a buyout of $200,000 instead of the $1.2 million he had been owed.
While O’Brien seemingly lost $1 million, he’ll recover over half that this year as UVa. will pay him a $450,000 salary as well as a $150,000 “signing bonus.” At the end of his two-year contract, he’ll also be eligible for another $300,000 bonus to go along with another year with a salary of $450,000.
O’Brien wasn’t the only significant hire on the day as 32-year coaching veteran Jon Tenuta was added as defensive coordinator. Tenuta had been on O’Brien’s NCSU staff from 2010-12, and has also served on staffs at Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Ohio State, among others.
Additionally, Jeff Banks was hired as running backs coach/ special teams coordinator while Marques Hagans, who served last season as a grad assistant with the Hoos, was promoted to a full-time position as wide receivers coach.
The moves come just over four weeks after London fired four assistants, including defensive coordinator Jim Reid.