A Look Back; Past Pitt HCs’ First 3 Years

One of the more calming and somewhat obsessive things Pitt fans do is point our fingers back to the pre-World War II era and think about our eight national championship we won back them.

I call that “Old Pitt Days“.  Some of us can actually remember our parents talking about those days just like we ourselves talk about the 1970s – mid-1980s as our own glory years.  Of course fans even younger than I will look at Dave Wannstedt’s three year winning streak as their high water mark.

I kind of feel sorry for them because as nice as those years were nice as a 27-12 run but for many other programs that is an average or even in some cases a down stretch.

So what does this new generation have to look forward to as successes so they can turn around and point a finger back at this period and say “I was at Pitt when that happened“?  We just finished an eight win season in 2015 and that could be the start of something great.  Let’s hope so anyway, but the signs are there to feel reasonably confident that the winning seasons will keep rolling in.

That said, if we look back to what new Pitt head coaches did in their first three years we also see that constant winning is a not given by any means.  Let’s use 1966 as the base for “Modern Pitt Days” and see what transpired since then with new leadership.

Year W L T Coach(es) Bowl
2015 8 5 Pat Narduzzi (8-5) Military Bowl-L
 8  5
2014 6 7 Paul Chryst (6-6) Armed Forces Bowl-L
2013 7 6 Paul Chryst (7-6) Little Caesars Bowl-W
2012 6 7 Paul Chryst (6-7) BBVA Compass Bowl-L
 19  20
2007 5 7 Dave Wannstedt (5-7)
2006 6 6 Dave Wannstedt (6-6)
2005 5 6 Dave Wannstedt (5-6)
 16  19
1999 5 6 Walt Harris (2-9)
1998 2 9 Walt Harris (2-9)
1997 6 6 Walt Harris (6-6) Liberty Bowl-L
 13  21
1995 2 9 Johnny Majors (2-9)
1994 3 8 Johnny Majors (3-8)
1993 3 8 Johnny Majors (3-8)
 8  25
1992 3 8 0 Paul Hackett (3-8)
1991 6 5 0 Paul Hackett (6-5)
1990 3 7 1 Paul Hackett
12 20 1
1988 6 5 0 Mike Gottfried (6-5)
1987 8 4 0 Mike Gottfried (8-4) Bluebonnet Bowl-L
1986 5* 5* 1 Mike Gottfried (5-5-1) *Changed to 6-4-1 because of PSU scandal
 19  14  1  Real Totals
1984 3 7 1 Foge Fazio (3-7-1)
1983 8 3 1 Foge Fazio (8-3-1) Fiesta Bowl-L
1982 9 3 0 Foge Fazio (9-3) Cotton Bowl-L
 20  13  2
1979 11 1 0 Jackie Sherrill (11-1) Fiesta Bowl-W
1978 8 4 0 Jackie Sherrill (8-4) Tangerine Bowl-L
1977 9 2 1 Jackie Sherrill (9-2-1) Gator Bowl-W
 28  7  1
1975 8 4 0 Johnny Majors (8-4) Sun Bowl-W
1974 7 4 0 Johnny Majors (7-4)
1973 6 5 1 Johnny Majors (6-5-1) Fiesta Bowl-L
 21  13  1
1971 3 8 0 Carl DePasqua (3-8)
1970 5 5 0 Carl DePasqua (5-5)
1969 4 6 0 Carl DePasqua (4-6)
 12  19  0
1968 1 9 0 Dave Hart (1-9)
1967 1 9 0 Dave Hart (1-9)
1966 1 9 0 Dave Hart (1-9)  3-27-0

paxxup6667d Dave Hart He was at the wrong place at the wrong time at Pitt and he sucked as a HC.  He was consistent though with triple 1-9 records before he was fired.  These are the years I really started to ‘get’ Pitt football as I was going into my teens. Hart did not progress or regress after his first season at the helm.

carl-a-depasqueCarl DePasqua – This is from an old message board poster, KayseSouze, and fits:

I feel Mr. DePasqua has been unfairly maligned. I know for almost all of you this is ancient history but I have to get it off my chest.  As you know, from ’66 to ’68 we had three consecutive 1-9 seasons under Dave Hart. The university was reeling from financial problems and hired Mr. DePasqua. He then went 5-5, 4-6 and 3-8.  

Obviously, that would be unacceptable today but after ’66-68, was miraculous. That 3-8 season included a thrilling 26-25 victory at UCLA to open the season against legendary UCLA coach, Tommy Prothro.

What ended his tenure was 1972’s 1-10 record. Consider that just four years after our worst all time single season, we became national champs.  Still, the word on campus was that he had been flipping pizzas the year before we hired him. The truth is that he had been an outstanding fullback at Pitt and played in the Blue-Gray game, a post season all star classic for seniors.

His 13-29 record, in a vacuum, seems shameful. But as the saying goes,”Ya don’t get from New York to Mississippi without stopping in Atlanta”.

And he didn’t flip pizza.  His calzone, however was unbelievable–Just kidding of course.

xfball1Johnny Majors – His tenure was the real beginning of Pitt’s modern day in lots of fan’s minds. He took over a team that had been steadily declining under DePasqua with 5 then 3 then 1 win and turned it around to a national championship. Here is an article he wrote about what is was like coming to Pitt under those circumstances.

By far my favorite game at Pitt was 1973 at Athens, Ga. We saw the transformation in front of our eyes that first game after a lot of bad seasons. [The 7-7 score against Georgia was considered an upset]. I believe we carried 18 freshmen on that trip out of the 50 or 60 we took on the plane.

A big part of that group was still around and going into their senior year for the ’76 season. I remember before the season I called our seniors in. We had a great group of seniors. I said, ‘OK fellas, we have a chance to have a very good football team this year.’

I asked them if they had anything that they wanted to bring to my attention before we went into the season. I believe it was [tight end] Jim Corbett who spoke up and said, ‘Coach Majors, you just tell us what you want us to get done and we’re going to get it done.’ That’s one of the greatest leadership responses I’ve had. That was the general feeling of that entire senior group.

477968298-head-coach-jackie-sherrill-of-the-university-gettyimagesJackie Sherrill – “The Castrating Coach“.   His motivation tactics at Pitt were a bit more subdued that the ones he started cooking up as he looked at Pitt stadium in the rear view mirror.  By inheriting fantastic players from Majors and then heavily recruiting the best the WPIAL had to offer he had the opportunity to field a team, the 1981 version, who some say was the best team there ever was in a 360° way.

He had a bit of a dip in the win column when he went from nine in his first year to eight in his second… but then he ramped up the program with  that first of three 11 win seasons.

45091727_125996757015Foge Fazio – a Pitt favorite son and all-around likeable guy… which might have been his downfall in a way.  He was very friendly with the players as staff coaches tend to do since they are with the kids all the time.  The problem was that Fazio acted like he was still Pitt’s defensive coordinator after he fleeted up to the HC position and tried to micro-manage the defense.

His is a good example of the fact that sometime coordinators are fantastically successful at that job, as he certainly was as the DC under Sherrill, but can’t grasp the multitude of responsibilities a HC has to handle.

His going from 9 to 8 to 3 wins was horrid in comparison to the wonderful 33-3 run that Sherrill had left him.

mike-cover-1-1200x8001Mike Gottfried – I was overseas stationed on a ship out of Alaska when Gottfried was coaching Pitt so I didn’t get a real pulse of what was happening with the program.  I think I watched one game – a win if I remember correctly.  But just look at what he did after taking the reins from Fazio.

Fazio’s last year, 1985, was a blah 5-5-1 season… which Gottfried mirrored in his first year at Pitt.   But then he got the kids to win 8 games the next season before dipping back down to 6 wins in his third year.

But the very interesting aspect about Gottfried’s time with Pitt is what actually transpired with his firing and how it came about.  Here is a good article describing just what happened back then.  That move by Pitt is indicative of how the university’s administration has dealt with wayward head coaches for a long time.

The defining line is that what happens off the field is more important than what the HC dies on the field.  We saw this with Gottfried, Walt Harris was fired under much the same circumstances the we saw it writ large in 2010 with Wannstedt’s firing.

Fans like to believe in the Pitt administration’s  “Next Level” myth but it just isn’t true.  Otherwise you wouldn’t fire your three winningest coaches in the last 30 years. We have heard that mantra each and every time Pitt dumps a coach they no longer want to be associated with.

At Pitt you toe the party line or you are gone regardless if you just won 7 games (Gottfried), 8 games (Harris) or had the best three year run in a long time and racking up 27 wins  (Wannstedt).

paul-hackett-pittsburgh-pitt-coach-usc-trojans-1978-national-champ-signed-photo_f233f1eb2b8e6aceac6b090fbec02603_display_imagePaul Hackett – Hackett was Gottfried’s offensive coordinator at Pitt then was hired as the HC when Gottfried was fired.  He had one winning season (6 wins) bracketed by two losing ones (3 games each year).

Johnny Majors II – Back to the Future. ‘Nuff said – tragic.  But here is the situation he was facing on his rebound to Pitt… dire straits for sure:

Four days before the Pitt Panthers opened their season by defeating Southern Mississippi 14-10, Johnny Majors was at a table in a plush hotel, bidding on items at an auction.

The sale was to help an athletic department that needs scholarship funds to stay afloat. “We’re close to Chapter 11 here,” Majors said.  The Pitt budget for men’s and women’s sports is about $14 million. At Tennessee, where Majors used to coach, the budget was some $11 million more.

Dinner for six at Majors’ university-provided house netted $9,000 in the auction. Majors’ bid won the original painting of the 1976 Pitt media guide, the year he coached the Panthers to a national championship. He bid $650 for a year’s supply of gasoline.

Someone seated nearby asked, “Coach, don’t you get your gas free?”  “Oh, yeah,” Majors said.  Too late. His bid won.

When you’re into a massive rebuilding job, when you’ve got money to raise, players to coach, meetings to attend and speeches to make, it’s easy to overlook a detail or two.

20030903dbwalt0903c_230(Sad) Walt Harris – He inherited a program that was reeling and in poor shape talent -wise.  He didn’t have a winning season in those first three years; 6-6 was the best he did.  However, from his fourth year on he did this in the win column: 7, 7, 9, 8 and 8.  He was the only HC that played in a BCS bowl game as a Big East champion.

He was very much the offensive mindset and had two of the best QB Pitt has ever had in Rod Rutherford and Tyler Palko.  Take a look at this website that lists the Top Ten Pitt players per skill position… Palko is # 4 in the Top Ten and Rutherford is #5.  Oh Wow!  Will you look who is #3!

dave-wannstedt-faf9db85c5654395Dave Wannstedt – He started off slowly with a first season that left Pitt fans very disappointed.  There are differing opinions on just what shape the program was in when he came onboard but I don’t think any fan can say they expected a drop from 8 wins to 5 wins in his first year.

Much like Walt Harris DW’s initial three years was one winning season (6-6) with losing seasons on either side. After those three years he got the team winning and went on that ‘best’ three year record we had seen since Jackie Sherrill back in the ’80s.

Big Dave has tried his hand at other football jobs since getting the boot at Pitt and the latest is a gig as a color man on some network.

sloth1Paul Chryst -Chryst was hired by Pitt to stop the bleeding from the negative incidents and circumstances Pitt found itself in since the beginning of 2010. Chryst replaced Jumpin’ Todd Graham, who had replaced slap-happy Mike Haywood, who replaced a befuddled Dave Wannstedt (if only for a few days).

It was not a pretty time for the reputation of Pitt football in any way, shape or form.Chryst had a mandate from the Pitt administration to change the culture of the program and to cull out any players on the roster who would be non-conducive to a calm and well-functioning clubhouse.

He did that to the tune of a 28 roster players turnover in his first three years.

As far as actual football went Chryst inherited a roster that had, in essence, lost a whole recruiting class after DW was fired.  That disappearing 2011 class was chock full of 4* and good 3* kids who would have made big impacts on the team… and in the win column.

He put up a rather mediocre won/loss record of 19-20 with one winning season, a 7-6 record, in the middle of two 6-7 losing ones.

narduzzi_web2_bannercropPat Narduzzi – Which brings ups to our current “Great White Hope” (as Pitt tends to have in theri hiring processes for HCs save one in Handsy Heywood . We fans hope Narduzzi  break Pitt tradition and have a second winning season, to go along with his rookie 8-5 record,  in his first two years.  But that may be tough to do.

As far back as I can remember we Pitt fans all thought things would progress well in each HC’s first three years.  Sometimes it did – mostly a long while ago – and sometimes not.  You’ll notice I colored coded the above listed HCs’ three year record.  It is pretty obvious that the green text means a winning record and the red is a losing record..

Of the 11 coaches  listed (less Narduzzi) only four are marked in green – Majors 1, Sherrill, Fazio and Gottfried and they are sequential coaches whose runs encompassed the 15 years from 1973 until 1988.

That sounds great… until you realize it hasn’t happened again in the last 18 years.

I hope we see Narduzzi break this trend and bring us two more winning years.  I think we may but then again I don’t see a talent level on this 2016 team that is so high across the board that it guarantees a 7 win season, especially given the formidable season we have ahead of us.

I don’t make season predictions until the opener’s two-deep is made public, but I will say this – it wouldn’t shock me at all to see lesser wins in ’16 than in ’15… and even a .500 year is possible.






30 thoughts on “A Look Back; Past Pitt HCs’ First 3 Years

  1. Very poor taste to depict Chryst as a sloth. What in the world did he do to be so maligned? You do realize that sloths have feelings too, so lay off the unwarranted comparisons. I speak for sloths around the world who can’t defend their own integrity!


    1. Did you ever see PC at a function? Kinda like watching paint dry, I saw him every year, sloth like, really.


  2. Reed a winless season is possible! But then again a 15-0 season is possible but that won’t happen either!
    Yeah, I can already imagine you saying, “there he goes again, unrealistic optimist”.

    Sorry, just no rational reason, other than a long term injury to a key player, like Peterman, to think that Narduzzi & Co. can’t chalk up their 2nd consecutive winning campaign in as many seasons.

    If the Panthers just take care of winning the games that they should, they are already at 5 wins with victories over Villanova, Marshall, Virginia, Duke and Syracuse. If they can’t find two more wins in those final 7 games, I will be extremely surprised.

    This team,just like individual players tend to do, will make a substantial leap in their overall performance and team execution simply because of the fact that the entire organization (minus OC Canada) has been working together now for months. Nothing is news glover I defense and that was Pitt’s biggest weakness last season. Plus Narduzzi has plugged I with his recruiting some key players who are going to make immediate contributions when they take the field this season.

    That two deep roster recently posted is a joke. After guys like Hamlin, Watts, Camp, and Hendrix get worked into the roster things will change for sure. Also anybody who knows Pitt football and does not anticipate the positive effect of having James Conner back in uniform, is underplaying the entire situation which is what I term the Conner Effect. 7-5 for sure this season.


  3. I may be in the minority here, and I am glad Pat Narduzzi is here, and I know his press conferences were painful….but I liked Paul Chryst, and he was a great offensive coach and did a great job in getting Pitt back to respectability after the Wannstadt/Haywood/Graham debacle.


  4. I really look back now with so much more affection for Paul Chryst’s tenure at Pitt. And his tenure being three seasons total it goes perfect with the article.

    Here’s another huge problem that I never, ever properly gave Paul Chryst credit for which in retrospect just gutted Pitt Football —–> essentially, Pitt totally lost TWO recruiting classes in the travesty (yup, courtesy of one Strve Pederson botch) of firing Wanny and then attempting to replace him.

    After firing Wanny, then all the insane Mike Haywood situation then trying to salvage with Todd Graham – garbage went down. Wanny actively told ‘his recruits’ to bounce, and Todd Graham “salvaged” a horrible, horrific, horrid and tiny recruiting class that was basically 2* Texas kids he was recruiting to Tulsa. Needless to say that while a few local guys became starters that class was a travesty.

    Then, Todd Graham leaves for ASU barely after a year, then we made what should have been the First Choice immediately after firing Wanny and Pitt hires Paul Chryst —- who then has to his best to salvage this next (also now horrible and makeshift) recruiting class!!! This incoming class for the Chrsy regime was that “Chad Voytik” patch-work class that so many Pitt fans praised Voytik for, in that he gave such a huge effort to at least keep a recruiting class together.

    I mean this and in hindsight I’ll argue to the cows come home on this — I think if Steve Pederson (goodbye —- by the time “The Great” Patrick Gallagher kicked him to the curb the mob was ready to rise and do it ourselves lol) hires Paul Chryst immediately after firing Wanny, allowing Chryst to build his staff right away, try and keep as much of the Pitt talent on Wanny’s team as possible and then bring in a real recruiting class….

    Well then I think Paul Chryst’s tenure would absolutely have been 8+ wins with Wanny’s talent that last Big East season (and I think Mark Myers would 90% have been QB over RS Junior Tino Sunseri and Ray Graham goes for 1,500+ yards). And since instead of totally losing 1 whole recruiting class (Wanny to Graham) and having one incredibly weak, patchwork class (Todd Graham to Chryst), Pitt Football is way stronger, deeper, and more talented in Chryst’s first 3 years.

    …….honestly in my view sorry about that –> Water Under The Bridge! Because I LUV Pat Narduzzi through-and-through and thank the *Football Gods* everyday and I cannot believe how lucky we were to get him.

    And even though many are irritated at A.D. Barnes at the moment he is 100X more open And straight up than Pederson. More importantly Faith-I-Have that if Patrick Gallagher (aka Huge Football Fan!) will never pull cronyism and football apathy like Chancellor Nordenberg and will do whatever it takes to, (Forgive me!) — “MAKE PITT FOOTBALL GREAT AGAIN!!!” hahaha


    1. Hahahahahahaha! Yeah, and Narduzzi knows how the rigged Power 5/NCAA system works,,,,,,,,,,,,and only he alone can fix it, LOL!


  5. Gottfried and Hacket were both hamstrung by the administration. I remember Donna Briscoe Somethingorother wanted to turn Pitt into an Ivy League school and, hence, refused admission to sub-par student-athletes.
    I hope she rots in academic hell.
    While Hacket got another chance at USC, which he promptly blew, Gottfried never coached again, despite throwing his hat in the mix for a number of positions.
    Majors did well at Tennessee; Jackie did well, But not great.
    And Fraud did well initially, but his bullshit will catch up to him.
    As for Paul Chryst, mediocre is mediocre and he will be an NFL coordinator within five years.
    Glad HCPN is on board.


    1. That Briscoe lady did ruin such a good thing. I, too, hope she rots in academic hell.

      The 1990 team could have been so good had no coaching change been made. There was a lot of talent coming back and those kids in the 1990s deserved the chance to win on the football field while getting a degree. What an awful decade of football and for what? There are universities out there who win on the football field and are better academically than Pitt, so why does school refuse to want to be a football power?

      It’s not the worst thing in the world to perform well on the football field.


  6. Think I remember reading apiece a long time ago that Hackett left the roster so limited that Johnny Majors 2 put an add in the newspaper for guys to come and try out for Pitt.. Haskett was a poor recruiter and didn’t have a complete roster


  7. Dr T – what exactly does this sentence mean – it was garbled when translated from the OPTIMASTASTIC font you always use….

    “Nothing is news glover I defense and that was Pitt’s biggest weakness last season. “


  8. The Dark Knight, while overly verbose and flowery to the point of readers turning the page, is spot on.

    I like Paul Chryst and think he was brought in under circumstances and pressures that most newly-hired HCs would never have to face.

    That said I really don’t think Pitt & Chryst were a good fit (nor Haywood or Graham) and I always thought Chryst would leave as soon as a more established program crooked its finger – whether it was his alma mater or not. And that is the $60,000 question I have about Pat Narduzzi also.

    Dr. Tom – I think we’ll have a winning season also but at this point it will be a close run thing. But I have been pleasantly surprised before. My season predictions are almost always within one win and at this point I will not go out on any sort of limb and guess 7 wins – like everyone else and his brother are doing also.

    But personally I don’t see a two deep filled with above average talent when all are taken into consideration. Right now we Pitt fans are doing what every other school’s fans are doing also- having “Myopic Optimism” by being too close to intricacies of the personnel because we read and write about them every day.

    How dare they not live up to expectations when they get out on the field!


  9. I’ve said this before a few times …. the main thing I have against Chryst was his hiring of an unqualified DC, who in turn had to oversee a very inexperienced defensive staff. If you look at PC’s coaching staff, it was embarrassingly tilted towards the offense. Now, I have no doubt that he had a limited budget but still there were better candidates out there for the getting.


  10. Why must we always look at the exit, asking when is the current coach leaving?
    Ok, because we have habitually been left holding the bag.
    But times are different:
    More cash coming into the program.
    Better facilities.
    Better conference.
    And a chancellor who gives a shit.


  11. Gasman, you are correct to certain degree, but unless Pitt can become a successful program that has an established history of being a top 25 program, it will continue to be a stepping stone job for the head coach.


  12. I feel bad for you old guys who watched those 70’s & 80’s teams & think that could actually happen at Pitt again. For those of us whose best run was the Wanny years live in the reality that it’s not likely to get much better & is in fact likely to be worse. We accept Pitt for what they are, you keep trying to kick that ball while Lucy pulls it away.


    1. No need for sympathy for us dinosaurs Nick. I grew up during the Dave Hart period, went to Pitt during the DePasqua period & graduated at the beginning of the “Major Change in Pitt Football”.

      I’ve seen the worst football that this University has ever put out there, you can not imagine how bad it was. Back in those days there actually was a valid reason to get drunk at the games.

      That being said, us old timers also witnessed Pitt ascending the top of the mountain in 1976, along with Tony Dorsett’s Heisman Trophy triumph. Thereafter, even better overall teams coached by Sherill and lead by Marino appeared for years to come.

      So I guess my point is that you can have your opinion of accepting mediocrity, if that gives you some peace of mind but I much prefer aspiring to excellence. Been there done that, feels really good while it’s occurring, especially after all those lean years.

      Just because it’s really difficult to obtain excellence is no reason to avoid that ambition, it’s OK to be disappointed, AFTER you have anticipated the better. However, to simply accept mediocrity as a starting point to utilize as your standard is a sure formula for losing, most assuredly.

      Right now the components for success have been assembled. Good conference, more money, strong administration leadership and a motivated talented coach who is a tireless recruiter.

      Go ahead and do your best Lucy imitation if that’s your pleasure. Me, I much prefer trying to make that kick. Remember the saying is Hail to Pitt not Fail to Pitt.


  13. As usual agree with wwb, Chryst blew it with the House hire. Hopeful that Narduzzi is the real deal. Think he has a chance to have a very good year.

    Will know after the third game.


  14. I always supported Chryst. I agree and argued that he lost two recruiting classes, but as important, he was fighting a national media and local media that used Pittsburgh as the punching bag for all jokes. Hell, we couldn’t even position our program with recruits in a positive light when compared to the Dairy College debacle. Timing was bad.

    I liked Wanny more than Chryst because he could recruit. I once wrote to Pederson to suggest a bench coach for in game decisioning. In the same letter I asked if he would consider a different AD job so that Pittsburgh could get back to Pitt and we could get back to close to big time football. Shockingly, he didn’t respond.

    I like Narduzzi better than Chryst. He is similar to Wannstedt in that they both are defensive minded, but Narduzzi gets my lean here as I have seen him break down plays as they occur. Wanny still has the edge in recruiting in my opinion. That said, Narduzzi is improving.

    Once you get quality depth, natural selection occurs and the strong survive. In other words, better competition for playing time leads to a more focused and consistent effort from all players. This is exciting.

    Saw Lamont Wade last night in Cbus, His future has to be as a slot receiver. He is going to West Virginia HIgh School today and I expect Holgorsen will offer him a dual role as a slot receiver and cornerback. Holgorsen will be out this year unless he gets to 8 wins. His contract has put him in lame duck status. Tony Gibson is dirty. In that context, dirty does not mean “awesome stuff” as it does in baseball.


    1. I was a Wannstedt guy also, but when I look back at him as a recruiter he was somewhat overrated in that department. Go back and look at the two deep for the bowl game in 2009 on the school’s main website under archives. By 2009 the depth should have been much better and it wasn’t.

      There was no O-line depth, the linebacking corps and the secondary should have been deeper. My biggest shock was the lack of D-line depth, Wannstedt’s baby. Lindsey and Chaz were the only two real players off the bench and they were younger guys.

      A factor for the lack of depth: average depth in Western Pa football for Wannstedt to build from in 2007 and 2008 and some kids who were kicked off the team by Wannstedt (Porter and Tommie Duhart) and kicks who didn’t make the grades (Maurice Williams and Tommie Campbell).

      Had Wannstedt been allowed to stay, he would have had a plethora of offensive linemen and defensive backs to recruit from in the state.


  15. Nick,
    You have it backwards, dude. I feel bad for us, but especially you. I was at Pitt during some very bad times, but that has not done anything to my optimism. The sky’s the limit for Pitt going forward. If you don’t think so, then why do you even care to follow?



  16. LOL Reed, I proofed it after your question and had to recall my train of thought myself since my iPhone’s spell correct made a shit storm out of my sentence.
    What I was expressing was that Narduzzi’s D system had to be learned and now the D is over that process. So they should play faster this season, improving their performance compared to last season.


  17. Dr. T – I always get a little nervous when I hear the phrase ‘playing faster’ but I have also acknowledged that better LB coaching allowed Galambos to make a smarter first split-second reaction (i.e. 1st step) in the correct direction which translated to his ‘playing faster’…. and his production dramatically improved last year.

    We Pitt fans, and all college football fans, analyze all aspects of the football team and program and part of that is its history – and that history encompasses how long Pitt HCs stayed and the circumstances they left under. Talking about Narduzzi leaving isn’t the same as wishing it to happen.

    On the same note being optimistic about what the future holds in the upcoming season doesn’t mean you put blinders on to what has happened in the past, even the recent past, when it comes to what actually transpired as the ‘next season’ actually played out.

    I think two years really jump out in this regard – DW’s 2010 season and Chryst’s 2014 season. Both had the potential of being highly successful and both disappointed… and ended up with Pitt having to hire new HCs when the season ended.

    I want a repeat or better of Narduzzi’s rookie 8-5 season when the dust settles after the final game of the year, but I’d be remiss and not truthful if I also didn’t factor in Pitt’s less-than-stellar history of Great Expectations..


  18. When I look at the O 2-deep, I see a lot of above average talent except at WR & TE. I think Ford and Orndorff are above average, but no one after those two has proven to be above average. I think the three FR WR’s were told during the recruiting process that if you come to camp physically and mentally ready to play FB that there most definitely will be opportunities to see the field right away.

    On the D side, I think every 2016 recruit was given that same speech. Who will step up and be the next J.Whitehead? I believe we could see as many as 2 or 3 this season on D from this FR class. Remember, JW did not start his first game.

    Sticking with the D side, we also have two very talented and quick RSFR LB’s in Brightwell and McKee who both bulked up since arriving last summer and studied the playbook under this current coaching staff. Add to that the two DE transfers who also RS’d last season and I can see this D winning a few more games for this team, this season.

    The wildcard factor that I cannot get my arms around is the new OC Canada. Oh, I think the change from Chaney was good – I just don’t know how quickly his schemes will find traction. Feed the beast if he is ready, which I believe he will be. That will set the tone on the O side and allow NP, Ford and Orndorff to show how good they really are. Sprinkle in JW’s flash and QO’s consistency, and we have got ourselves a winning FB team.

    Do we see Clemson twice on the FB field this season? I wouldn’t count this cast out, nor would I bet against them.



  19. Reed I don’t like dredging up old old news but as a Pitt trained historian, you only had the public explanation of MG firing – there was also a pregnant cheerleader, funds to take care of funneled through GP (check to cheerleader coach) – hope all are well but we must look beyond what is said publicly. I believe that led to the termination of Joe P’s old golfing buddy. Barry Sweitzer (sp) I know, I investigated the GP. Like I said very old news but Alaska was a far ways away.


  20. RKB,
    Was it the cheerleader or the coach with whom he was romping?
    I have always gotten conflicting info on that.
    But that coach was smokin hot.


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