Jon Tenuta will have a new title and a bigger contract when N.C. State returns to the football field in 2012.
N.C. State named Tenuta the associate head coach for defense on Wednesday and gave him a new two-year contract, worth $400,000 a year. Tenuta has been the team's linebackers coach for the past two seasons and has helped the defense improve dramatically in winning back-to-back bowl games.
Last week, Tenuta had been in discussions with Illinois to joint first-year coach Tim Beckman's staff. On Jan. 3, Illinois announced Tenuta was hired but the next day sent out a release saying he had changed his mind.
Tenuta's new contract with State represents a $135,000 raise per year. He made $265,000 in his first two seasons. His base salary was bumped to $279,000 in the new deal and he will make $121,000 in supplemental income.
“Jon has played a key role in our team’s success for the past two years, including our back-to-back bowl victories,” N.C. State head coach Tom O’Brien said in a statement released by the school. “He adds an enormous amount of experience and expertise to our staff and we are happy that he has accepted these new responsibilities as we work toward our goal of winning an ACC Championship.”
Coincidentally, Tenuta's contract and title are a similar deal North Carolina gave assistant Vic Koenning, who left Illinois to join Larry Fedora's first staff with the Tar Heels.
Tenuta, a former defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, North Carolina and four other schools, has helped the Wolfpack defense cause more turnovers, register more sacks and win more games in his two seasons.
The Wolfpack ranked in the top 10 nationally in both categories this season – eighth in sacks (40) and second in takeaways (39) – and finished 8-5 with its second straight bowl win. In 2010, State’s defense was fourth in the country in sacks (with 41) and 18th in takeaways (29), and the team’s record improved from 5-7 in 2009 to 9-4.
Tenuta's son, Matt, a senior at Apex High, is committed to play baseball for N.C. State next year. Tenuta, who was unavailable for comment on Wednesday, has cited that as one of the main reasons for staying with the Wolfpack.