Former N.C. State coach Tom O'Brien hired at Virginia

Former assistant Tenuta also joins UVA

jgiglio@newsobserver.comJanuary 4, 2013 

Tom O’Brien is going back to his first ACC stop, and taking Jon Tenuta with him.

Virginia hired O’Brien, the former N.C. State coach, and Tenuta on Thursday and saved N.C. State about $1.4 million in the process.

O’Brien, who was dismissed by N.C. State on Nov. 25 after going 40-35 in six seasons, will be the Cavaliers’ associate head coach, Virginia announced Thursday night. Tenuta, who was N.C. State’s linebackers coach the past three seasons, will be the Cavaliers’ defensive coordinator.

O’Brien was an assistant at Virginia for 15 seasons before becoming Boston College’s head coach in 1997.

N.C. State saved $1 million on O’Brien’s buyout and another $403,348 with Tenuta. O’Brien finalized his buyout on Thursday, which allowed him to make the move to Mike London’s staff. London previously worked for O’Brien as an assistant at Boston College.

Under the original terms of the buyout in O’Brien’s contract, he was not allowed to take another ACC job until the end of the 2015 season and he was owed $1.2 million.

N.C. State agreed to give O’Brien a $200,000 payout, and his noncompete clause was waived, according to a statement released by N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow.

“We wish Coach O’Brien well in the future and appreciate his contributions to N.C. State Athletics,” Yow said in the statement.

O’Brien, who will make $450,000 per year at UVA plus a $150,000 signing bonus, could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Tenuta agreed to a five-year contract worth $500,000 annually.

O’Brien worked as George Welsh’s assistant at Virginia from 1982 to 1996, the last six seasons as the offensive coordinator, before leaving for Boston College.

London overhauled his staff after a 4-8 record and last-place finish in the Coastal Division in 2012. O’Brien and Tenuta, a Virginia grad who has been a defensive coordinator at three other ACC schools, add much-needed experience to London’s staff.

Virginia beat N.C. State 33-6 on Nov. 3, which in part led to O’Brien’s dismissal, but the two schools are not scheduled to meet in 2013 and likely not until the 2016 season, although the addition of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Louisville could change future conference schedules.

Giglio: 919-829-8938

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