Good news is coming in bunches for Mountaineer fans today.
First up, West Virginia Metro News is reporting that the University and Head Coach Rich Rodriguez have agreed to a contract extension that will keep the West Virginia native in place through the 2012 season. Among the keys to the new contract:
- $1-million per year guaranteed, with additional bonuses available for attendance, graduation, Big East championships, and bowl appearances.
- an increase in available funds for Rodriguez's coaching staff.
- renovations to improve the team's study hall and locker room-area.
- a deferred compensation package.
In fine tuning the spread offense and the 3-3-5 stack defense, the Mountaineers won the 2006 Sugar Bowl title and produced an 11-1 season, allowing Rodriguez to quickly gain the reputation of one of the brightest young minds in college football. He had been considered an attractive option for potential vacancies at places like Michigan, Florida State, and Penn State, where their respective coaches are nearing the ends of their great careers. With this contract extension, Mountaineer fans can now hope that Coach Rodriguez will elevate West Virginia to new highs.
The day's other big news is that Seton-LaSalle (Pittsburgh) offensive lineman Gino Gradowski has given WVU coaches a verbal commitment to join the Mountaineers following his senior season. Gradowski, the younger brother of recently drafted Bruce Gradowski of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, chose the Mountaineers over the Pittsburgh Panthers. He is the ninth verbal commitment for the Mountaineers, and the second from the state of Pennsylvania, joining fellow offensive line recruit Donny Barclay of Harmony.