Pat Narduzzi and the Theory of Coaching Internships

 College Football, Football  Comments Off on Pat Narduzzi and the Theory of Coaching Internships
Dec 262014
 
new Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi will be officially unveiled as Pitt’s new head coach today. As the media and Friends of Tom Bradley like to point out, he will be the 10 millionth head coach at Pitt since Dave Wannstedt was tarred, feathered and run out of town on rails fired for being a coach-on-the-decline whose only major strengths included a Yinzer accent and a fantastic mustache.

Mike Haywood lasted a couple weeks. Toddy Graham spent one season at Pitt selling used cars with no engines and ripping on his quarterback before he absconded in the middle of the night, not unlike the Baltimore Colts. Paul Chryst left after three mostly uninspiring seasons to take over at that most Shangri-La of schools, Wisconsin.

I get it… Pitt hasn’t had true stability for a long time. And here comes Pat Narduzzi, a long-time defensive coordinator who passed over other head coaching jobs to come to Pitt. We are perpetually losing head coaches. The most common joke I’ve heard on the radio or read in comments sections (yes I should stop reading comments sections) is that Pitt has turned into a coaching internship, a way-station where younglings bide their time until getting called home (or where they apparently have family in the area).

By Paul_Chryst,_Pittsburgh_Panthers_Head_Football_Coach.JPG: Singregardless derivative work: Crazypaco [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

That Narduzzi will do the same – leave in 2-4 years, whether back to Michigan State or to some other school with deeper pockets and a stadium that’s more than half full. What’s the alternative for Pitt?

Tom Bradley? Sal Sunseri? Bill Cherpak? Seriously, don’t make me laugh. Pitt fans don’t laugh. We chuckle ruefully. Continue reading »

Lies, Damn Lies and My School’s Recruits Rule!

 College Football, Football  Comments Off on Lies, Damn Lies and My School’s Recruits Rule!
Feb 072014
 
Antonio Bryant, 2000 Tangerine Bowl

Or… Happy NLI Day!

College football fans are undoubtedly still basking in the glow of National Letter of Intent Day. Wherein they celebrate recruiting classes sure to lift them to the promised land.

People get bent out of shape over recruits, recruiting wars, verbal commitments, recruiting rankings; both pro and con. My belief is that they matter only insofar as┬áthere must be a great developmental and game-day coach behind them. It doesn’t matter that Charlie Weis pulled in Top-10 classes at Notre Dame; he just isn’t a good head coach. But put those same classes in the hands of Nick Saban or Urban Meyer and the team will excel to a much greater degree with those same kids.

On the flip side, statistics mean nothing to the individual. That’s why it’s not hard at all to point to players who weren’t highly-ranked who went on to great college success. Antonio Bryant was a 1-star recruit out of high school. Pitt offered him at the last minute and his only other offer was from Louisville. He won the Biletnikoff Award at Pitt and might have won two if not for an injury in his last season.

Antonio Bryant, 2000 Tangerine Bowl

Antonio Bryant, Biletnikoff Award Winner & 1-star recruit

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