Pettibone accepts OSU offer

By Wes Swietek

The Jerry Pettibone era of NIU football will come to an end at a Wednesday press conference at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore.

NIU Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell confirmed to The Northern Star late Tuesday night that Pettibone has accepted the head coaching position at Oregon State University.

“I just (talked) with coach Pettibone, and he has accepted (the job),” O’Dell said.

The coming announcement of Pettibone’s acceptance was confirmed late Tuesday by the Portland Oregonian newspaper, citing an unnamed Oregon State official.

The official announcement will be made by Oregon State administrators who made it clear from the beginning that Pettibone was their first choice.

Although Pettibone and Oregon State officials would not come out and say that Pettibone was the inevitable choice to take the job, both sides agreed Tuesday that Pettibone’s departure for the West Coast was something both sides desired.

“I absolutely want to be the coach here (OSU),” Pettibone said Tuesday, prior to his confirmation of his acceptance of the job to O’Dell.

“He (Pettibone) is my choice,” Oregon State Athletic Director Dutch Baughman said. “I’m very, very impressed with Jerry, he has an excellent background.”

Pettibone spent Tuesday meeting with university officials and boosters in Corvallis, and was scheduled to meet with other OSU officials Wednesday before announcing his decision at a press conference, tentatively scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Pacific time. (4:00 p.m. DeKalb time).

Pettibone traveled to Oregon Monday night to evaluate the Oregon State job offer. Pettibone’s wife, Susy, has been in Oregon since Sunday night and went on a real estate tour Monday.

The OSU position became open when former Beavers coach Dave Kragthorpe stepped down last week after compiling a 17-48-2 record in six seasons.

Kragthorpe earned an estimated $110,000 in salary and radio/TV deals. Pettibone earned $79,170 in base salary.

Pettibone, 51, has been the head football coach at NIU since 1985 and has compiled a 33-32-1 record, including 6-5 this past season. Prior to his arrival at NIU, Pettibone served as an assistant coach at Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas A&M, and SMU.