|O'Brien spent 15 seasons at Virginia as an offensive line coach and offensive coordinator. (US Presswire)|
Former NC State coach Tom O'Brien will be back in the ACC in 2013 but in a new role with a new team. David Teel, longtime columnist for the Daily Press, previously reported that O'Brien was in talks to return to Virginia as an assistant head coach. On Thursday, the final holdup in the negotiations -- reportedly his contract with NC State -- was cleared thanks to Wolfpack athletic director Debbie Yow.
O'Brien had a non-compete clause in his contract with NC State that prohibited the former Wolfpack coach from accepting a position at another ACC school through 2015. Yow confirmed to Joe Ovies, of 99.9 The Fan ESPN Radio in Raleigh that the school had reached an agreement with O'Brien to waive the clause and pay O'Brien a lump sum of $200,000 rather than the full $1.2 million that he was owed in a buyout.
The move cleared money from NC State's books but also allowed O'Brien to return to Charlottesville, where he spent 15 years as offensive line coach and offensive coordinator under George Welsh.
O'Brien agreed to a two-year deal worth $900,000 to serve as associate head coach for offense and tight ends coach on Mike London's staff. He is also due a $150,000 signing bonus and $300,000 retention bonus. In total, O'Brien moved from unemployed head coach to one of the highest-paid assistants in the ACC.
"We have so many great memories and still have so many friends there from the 15 years that we were there before was just an opportunity I just couldn't pass up," O'Brien said in a release. "So I was really excited that Mike thought about me and thought that I could come help, and I'm ready to do whatever he wants me to do to help get Virginia an ACC championship."
Former O'Brien assistant Jon Tenuta, who served as linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator for the Wolfpack, also will return to Charlottesville with O'Brien. Tenuta was a defensive back for Virginia (1979-82) and started his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Cavaliers.
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