Pitt Football’s Glory Days; Part 3

(This is Part 3 of a three-part series looking back at Pitt’s best decades of football)

Yesterday we discussed that last set of Glory Days from 1974 to 1983. Now let us skip another 33 years from 1984 to the nearer history of Pitt football in 2007. Remember that number because from 1938 to 1974 was a 36 year stretch.  It seems to me that we take around  35 years to ramp up to have another good run of Pitt football. Way too long but it is what it is – at least so far.

Now are talking about this last decade, from 2007 until last season’s end. I think it’s interesting that we look at these last 10 years and think the program has been rather average or even mediocre at times, especially the four years under Todd Graham and Paul Chryst. But if you put these ten years up against our whole history of play you’ll find that we really been above and beyond what the vast majority of other years’ stretches had done.

Here are the years in discussion:


From 2007 until 2016 we went through a bunch of head coaches – four actual ones but seven I believe if we count interim ones and then Haywood who was hired and fired in quickstep. That in itself puts a school’s program behind a big 8-ball.

 Dave Wannstedt kicked this period off in the midst of his six years at Pitt, then we had Todd Graham, Paul Chryst and now our current HC Pat Narduzzi.  In this time period we had 68 wins & 48 Losses for a 71% winning percentage.  Not great compared to the Dorsett and Marino average of 80% but really not too shabby either.top-20

Remember that I have talked about only so many college football programs being truly ‘elite’  over the course of their  existence?  Here is a modified listed I made from the NCAA website.  I took out the MAC and other smaller conference teams and left the ones who show the best all-around W/L records with  comparable opponents to what Pitt has had.

On this listing Pitt comes in at #42 with the our numbers as  below.  Honestly that 58% was a bit surprising and a lot more disappointing than I though it would have been.  but then again I wasn’t around when Pitt really sucked in the years 1990 to 2000 when we were in a hard down phase.

Pitt 704 wins 515 loss 42 ties .575 % 127 years 1261 tot. ACC

The point here is that when you stack up the recent decade’s 58%  win record it looks OK especially compared next to our all-time record of 58%.  But, and it hurts to say this, 58% ain’t grabbing the brass ring either.  Well, it is what it is and that’s why we are “die-hard fans”.  if Pitt football hasn’t killed us by now it never will.

It just felt like we were playing below-average football the last 10 years.

I know Pitt fans don’t want to hear that we are a middling program but the fact is that we are at the bottom of the top 1/3 of all 128 teams… sitting at number 42 is real and accurate and truth be told we weren’t much better than that, in comparison, even over the last two years.

For instance both 2015 and 2016 found us in the low 30s at season’s end – and that is with pretty damn good eight win seasons from Pat Narduzzi. So in the long run it isn’t all that surprising that these last ten years have been our 3rd best decade since way, way back.

But it started off on a down (them way up) note back in 2007.  We had just finished Dave Wannstedt’s second season and his first non-losing year when we went 6-6. We had Bill Stull ready to assume the starting role at QB and a highly prized recruit in LeSean McCoy at RB and we were poised to take a big step forward in the win column in ’07.

We don’t need to recap that whole season but in a nutshell both Stull and our QB2 Kevan Smith were injured early in the season and true FR Pat Bostick had to be thrown into the fray. That didn’t go over too well but we did pull out a victory over #23 Cincinnati and, of course, the season ending knock off of WVU 13-9.

So instead of limping into 2008 with a 4-8 record we went into the next stretch of years with heads held high at 5-7 and with optimism galore. The fun thing is that Wannstedt and the kids pretty much delivered on the promise of good seasons by going 9-4, 10-3 and 8-5 over the next three season.  Along with that he won his last two bowl games which helped us end the 2009 season at #15th nationally, and the only time in the 10 years we were ranked at all post-season.

Wannstedt’s 27-12 tally was good for a 70% winning record and was the high point of this last decade. Off the field issues resulted in a change of head coaches and Todd “Beelzebub” Graham came in and slithered off leaving a 6-6 oozing record behind him.

Wanting stability along with wins we hired OC Paul Chryst out of the Wisconsin staff.  His tenure here wasn’t all that impressive on paper, three years of 6-7, 7-6, and 6-7 but it made the program attractive enough in all ways for Pitt to be able to hire a decent replacement when Chryst went home to Madison.

That four-year period encompassing Graham and Chryst will be mostly forgotten when we look back at those years in the future.  But I think they played a big role in setting Pitt up for future successes.

We have seen our current HC Pat Narduzzi win eight games in his each of his first two years- mostly with Chryst recruits and in doing so he has made the on-field aspect of Pitt football as attractive as the all-encompassing student/athlete experience these kids can find here.  That is the best of both worlds and his recruiting bump has shown that interest is there on recruit’s parts.

We are pulling in high school players with more Power-5 offers than we have since the Wannstedt days and while we aren’t getting all that many 4* or 5* recruits – some, but not many – we are building a base two-deep roster that should match anything we have had over the last six years.

Of course what we Pitt hope to see over the next few years is the ability to select a different ‘current’ decade that we can stack up well against those Sutherland and Majors/Sherrill days and have our wins far outweigh our losses. Time will tell with that.

One thing to note with these comparisons is Pitt’s success rate in bowl games and truth be told we are pretty horrid in that count in recent years.  In this decade we have played to a 3-6 record in bowl games. Every bowl loss hurts but I think they especially hurt when a new HC comes aboard and can’t finish the season off on a rising note.

Narduzzi’s two bowl losses, in 2015 and again last season, kept us from being a Top 25 team in the post-seasons and that impacts recruiting and the national perception of the program.  When you are trying to recruit outside your school’s footprint (in Pitt’s case Western PA and the tri-state area) then you need as much prime time TV and national media exposure as you can get.

That bowl games losing trend has to stop this season (assuming we’ll get a bid) because far from some fans’ beliefs the bowl games really do matter. You’ll land very few far-away blue-chip recruits if they haven’t seen the team play a few times over their JR and SR years of high school, and have read or seen references to Pitt in the national media outlets. 

Contrary to fan’s beliefs the only time most of these kids from far away can afford to see a Pitt game in person is during their one official visit to the school – most don’t have the financial wherewithal to go back and forth.

That is what winning bowl games does for you – it gives you a national presence and a leg up going into the next season.

The 1974-1983 decade saw us at 6-4 in the bowls, starting with three wins in the Sun, Sugar and Gator bowls so that helped us land all those future All-Americans I listed yesterday. Further back Sutherland had us at 1-2 with all post-season games in the Rose Bowl. 

So there we are; Pitt’s Big Three Decades in a nutshell. 

We have risen to the top more than once in our history and while Pitt’s circumstances change, as does the game of college football itself, there is no real reason we can’t get back up there where we once resided. If we keep Narduzzi onboard; keep the program as attractive as we can – and great job by Narduzzi in doing that over his tenure so far – and win more than we lose… a lot more hopefully… then we get back up to where those perennial Big Dogs reside.



122 thoughts on “Pitt Football’s Glory Days; Part 3

  1. I was a huge Wannstedt fan and hated his firing as unjust as it was, but it set off a course of events that has landed us Narduzzi, which I’m very happy with. Then again, having Wannstedt four more years then he retires and in comes Narduzzi would have been the best-case scenario. Pitt wasn’t headed toward 6-7 seasons under Dave and those were just awful to watch, especially Moose’s bungling of games in the last quarter.


  2. The biggest event, football-wise, in this era was our entry into the ACC. It provides more revenue, exposure and larger recruiting footprint.

    This part of Pitt FB history is unfinished but I like where it’s headed.


  3. Lol just been lurking, enjoying the great articles and comments!

    Those “Wanny Years” —–> even with them being so disappointing overall had some real bright-spots, especially those two 9-3 seasons with QB Bill Stull (#QB’sMatter) and co. — some great players from then:

    Super Bowl Champ:

    How Wanny got LeSean McCoy!!!!

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PO

    And Wanny did recruit Aaron Donald to Pitt — who may soon be **the highest paid defensive player in the NFL** 🙂

    ——- per usual, #HailToPitt!! 😉


  4. Not to be a math nerd, but 68-48 over last decade is actually 58.6% winning percentage, which is right at the program’s historical average.


  5. Change at the top was necessary and of course a real conference that is coming on big time. Narduzzi understands the ACC is great for Pitt. Peterman looks to be a second round pick possibly and that folks is something that having talent at QB is key to making that next leap. Hopefully Max will keep it going.


  6. about Dave Wannstedt? I get the problem within the football program at that time and all and I really get the rough start he had when first coming home to PITT. He was kind of bad a head coach at first I admit that. Yet most will agree he had the best intentions for the PITT football program. As he ;earned on the job the team got much better on the field but not so much off. So all that is understood.

    Imo what’s not talked about near enough is the undermining by his AD. Genuine hate between the two no doubt. I firmly believe from the bottom of my heart that the problems at that time could have and should have been worked out and fixed. PITT lost a great PITT man and all because of an outsider who didn’t, imo, have the best interest of PITT football at all. (he proved that at his own school) Pederson was a piker and he should have been the one to go……. and I’ll end this now because it makes me sick to even revisit this.

    The saving grace here is, PITT has taken their good old time but things are now back on the right track. I’m very sure of that.


  7. Keep in mind that it was Chaney that was primarily responsible in getting Peterman to come to Pitt. I also believe it was his connection that got MacVittie on the Pitt radar screen. Now we don’t how the MacVittie recruitment will end up, but IMHO we would not have won 8 games these past two years without Peterman in at QB. So as much as Chaney has been based on this thread in the past he is at least responsible for some good at Pitt.


  8. ^^^ LOLWHY Dave Wannstedt got fired right here ^^^^ No Arm, Zero Speed, ZERO FOOTBALL INTELLIGENCE —-> Only Quarterback on the Roster 😦 😦 😦 😦

    Two 9-3 regular seasons with Bill Stull (Nathan Peterman 0.75 approximately) at QB including a top-15 finish in 2009-10 season at 10-3 ….. then Tino Sunseri lol that’s why Wannstedt got fired… within 10 seconds at PITT Pat Narduzzi brought in an immediate replacement to suplant a horrible QB a Top Head Coach has gotta know that Quarterbacks are #1, #2, and #3 to success 🙂 .

    Max Browne is gonna be Tom Savage 2.0 here at Pitt — 1st or early 2nd round pick in the next NFL draft. 🙂 —- Bet on it @Upittbaseball 🙂 🙂 .


  9. ^ Nathan Peterman got forced out of a starting job after 1.5 Quarters at Tennessee in favor of the Scrambler, “Higher-Potential” youngin’ named Joshua Dobbs and when Peterman got replaced all Tennessee fans thought they found, “The Answer”.

    And they bascially pushed-out one Nate Peterman and said, Sayanora, Good-Luck!!!……..yet now Nathan Peterman is getting looked at as a player who at the very, very latest is gonna get picked up in the 3rd or 4th round while that Josh Dobbs from Tennessee is a very late pick or a free-agent….

    —– Tom Savage at Pitt was a “Cast Off” and now he’s started in the NFL and is gonna stick around for a long, long time as the highest paid back-ups —->

    #MoralOfTheStory: I say Max Browne is gonna STAR for Pitt, and he ends up being a Huge-Time NFL Prospect after Pitt’s 9-3 regular season and Bowl Victory. 🙂 🙂


  10. Ike, I’ll keep saying this myself till I’m blue in the face but Peterson was not the one who fired DW, that call came from Nordenberg. There was no doubt about the dislike between the principles, but Peterson was not the one who had DW fired, DW was the one who got himself fired. I don’t understand why Pitt fans can’t look past the Pitt Man aspect of DW and see that he was really an immature person in the long run. We saw that with his continuing rants on TV after his firing and with the phone calls to the recruits. That has been verified in the media and in my personal conversations with others.

    And those phone calls were poison-pen letters to the recruits telling them not to come to Pitt. That was the bottom line, it wasn’t that the staff is changed or that things have changed at Pitt and that they should look around some more. Those phone calls specifically said they should not go to Pitt because Pitt wasn’t going to be a good place for them to play football. That was how he handled his being fired.

    DW felt that he was bigger than the administration of the university and that his word was law and that just wasn’t the case… as it never has been. We’ve seen it time and again. But he felt that he had no bosses at Pitt because certain factions loved him and because of his high reputation among the high schools and the alumni, but that didn’t matter and that was his fatal mistake.


  11. Strength of schedule needs to be taken into consideration. The Big East as a conference for football was lousy. The ACC is the best conference now in football. I dont think Dave or any other coach but Narduzzi would have survived the last 2 years with the schedule we played. Dave getting 9 and 10 wins was nice as well as a poll ranking, but beating Maine, Buffalo, Toledo, and the like padded the win column.

    Narduzzi may have run the table on some of those weak schedules prior coaches played. Playing 2 Top 10 non conference teams every year is hurting Pitt, not helping. I dont understand why anyone wants this schedule anyway. The basketball team will be NIT bound at best in the future because the schedule is too hard. The football team is capped at 8 wins because the schedule is too hard. Beating Penn State and Clemson did nothing to help Pitt’s perception in college football. Winning 9 and 10 games like Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech is getting these teams a lot more preseason hype then Pitt going into next year. 8 wins doesnt look good to anyone. 9 and 10 wins does.

    Did anyone read the espn headline for Pitt next year? It says Good luck Pitt surviving with the hardest schedule. Shake my head at our poor athletic directors.


    1. anonymous, if you read some of the articles about Pitt recruits coming to visit, many of them talk about Pitt’s win at Clemson. That may be the most important perception


    2. The Big East was down starting in 2008, but I’ll never downplay a Pitt win, not when the school has lost over 500 GAMES in its existence and players battered their bodies for those wins. Some of those players will have lingering injuries the rest of their lives and getting a free eduacation won’t make the pain go away.

      Those who worked jobs to get thru college, aren’t you glad you did and still have healthy knees and shoulders?


  12. —-> Bill Stull led Dave Wannstedt’s Pitt teams to two 9-3 regular seasons …. then against a weak schedule the next season, with the Top Offensive lineman, Jon Baldwin, Dion Lewis, Jaabal Sheard etc. back….. lol…. the only QB on the roster was **TINO SUNSERI ….

    THAT is whay he was fired. That is why in a New-York-Minute Pat Narduzzi got a Transfer in to replace the SCRUB QB at PItt.

    —- Place Your Bets —– ‘Cus I am declaring that Max Browne is Pitt’s Cam Newton / (OUCH! lol) Joe Flacco – Transfer to put a team over-the-top. 🙂 🙂


  13. 🙂 —- #KARMA 🙂 — Max Browne is the “Cast Off” / GIFT to Pitt ….even More-So…as one Joe Flacco was to Pitt. —– Deleware fans asked, “Why did this big-dude with with a strong arm have to leave his school I don’t undertand???” lol —- **10-3 🙂 🙂 and afterwards, Pat Narduzzi gets more (cough) $$$ than James Franklin and dominates with Florida+Pennsylvania+Ohio+New Jersey+Maryland+Washington D.C.+New York State+(ALL!!) New England, and everywhere-else talent! 🙂 🙂 🙂


  14. Big B I was also in the woods hunting with dad, brothers and cousin. Unbelievable.
    While Foge era was the beginning of deemphasis he was an excellent defensive coach. His weaknesses were he did not place talent at the correct positions and most importantly he said he was going to treat his players like men – they were boys and he also had growing discipline problems on and off the field. Now to read the 3rd part.


  15. Reed I am one thousand percent behind you on Wanndstedt.
    In my own opinion for those who praise him as loving Pitt his handling of off field problems was horrible, his using his players to protest his firing was classless and calling recruits to tell them not to come was traitorous and to those who worship at his altar with all due respect you are suffering from selective memory and excusing atrocious behavior. I liked him till the last year and exit. Good riddance to the bum. How can you all say that he loved Pitt when he told his recruits not to come to Pitt when he was fired? No poor treatment by Peterson and Smiley justified that sort of behavior. At least that is my opinion which is in the minority.
    What is the win percentage if Walt Harris is added into the mix?


    1. You said:

      “…his handling of off field problems was horrible” — you must have forgot about him kicking players out of school before his last season. Why do people think Pitt was some renegade program under Dave? Far, far from it. Lots of great young men were on that 2010 team.

      “How can you all say that he loved Pitt when he told his recruits not to come to Pitt when he was fired?” — Oh, because it never happened.

      “No poor treatment by Nordy and Smiley” — Those two did far more harm to Pitt football than Dave EVER did. Best Wanny story was saying the carpet in the locker room needed replaced and Smiley kept ignoring Dave’s request to have it replaced. Carpet! Dave then said he’d pay for it out of his own pocket. How pathetic is that when a coach offers to pay? Nordy must not have had any spare change in his office cushions to pay for it. That change was already handed over for the recruiting budget. Cheap Ass Nordy!


  16. I think meaningful bowl games matter against quality opponents. Dont think losing the Pinstripe impacted many if any recruits decisions. The Penn State and Clemson games were watched by more people and most definitely would have an impact on recruiting. Being ranked at the end of the year is nice but really who remembers the rankings? Recruits remember who plays in the BCS or on some New Years Bowls. Pitt has to play in more than scrub bowls to really take advantage of recruiting.


  17. Wanny was absolutely heartbroken when he was canned by Stevie P and rationalized his behavior in that mind of his and it probably cost him any future consideration to be a head coach again but watching him on Fox he definitely has a future as a stand up comedian.

    WLAT was a very good coach he had a small budget to work with and he was successful and went to a real BCS bowl not the shit bowls Pitt has been going to recently. WLAT brought Pitt back from the dead and he was given a raw deal but life goes on.

    Back to Wanny, I can still remember Jeff Dong at Wanny’s initial press conference on how Pitt was going to the next level and no one except Wanny won 10 games in a single season since Sherrill so Wanny did accomplish that.

    I don’t know about you but I’m just waiting for the famous Narduzzi’s defense to make an appearance in 2017, because he’s a defensive genius right?


    1. Up 19 with 2 minutes left in the 1st half. WF went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 12.

      Downhill from there…


  18. In game coaching genius does it again. This guy might be the dumbest game day coach I have seen. Plays coming out of time out was one of the worst ever. Who can make that pass???
    This guy is stealing our money. It will cost the university much, much, more in the long run to keep him!


    1. Even if Jones makes the pass Young’s momentum is away from the basket and he would have had to put on the brakes with a defender on his butt and make a super tough shot. Horrible play that violated most basic principles of basketball. Yet some still defend Stallings as a genius,..


  19. Is KS the future?
    Can Pitt afford an empty Pete for the next 2-3 years?
    Pitt will be no better than a middle of the pack ACC team with this coach.
    He’s no better than a 6-7 Chryst every year.
    We need a new AD that will have the guts to fire KS.
    I’d rather have Pitt play with walk-ons for 1 year and be coachless than watch any team coached by this guy.


  20. Nice job tonight by the seniors, who choked away another game. Chokers!

    I love how the “Wannstedt called recruits and told them not to come to Pitt” reports came out five years later when Zeise reported it. I don’t buy it for one second. Thank God Nordy and Smiley are gone. What a toxic match those two were starting on 11.30.07. Nothing but cheap asses who gave football zero chance to get ahead. Pitt became a laughing stock from 2011-14 because of these two guys. And spare me all the great Nordy did for the university. I only care about football and basketball. A new building constructed doesn’t give me a sports fix.


  21. Reed…I have a different story on Wanny’s firing and will get into the weeds with you in the Fall. Trust me, Peterson fired Wanny ( he was a complete back stabbing weasel!) Nordy just delivered the bullet.

    I have serious corporate shit I’m not ready tomorrow for and I’m still furious over the Pitt BBall loss tonight. I’ve said my piece on the Blather, but Stallings is simply not the right coach for Pitt!


  22. I think while our overall record the last 10 years isn’t bad(as Reed points out), I think a lot of us feel it could have been much much better considering the ‘built-in’ rent-a-wins that every season in that 10 year period had. And never winning an outright conf. championship in the somewhat lame BigEast.

    And then on top of that….losing to some of those ‘rent-a-wins’.

    And the mostly losing….. of some 3rd rate Bowl game, tossed in there….for good measure.

    Underachievers…..I guess….would be the perfect word.


  23. FWIW, I can’t blame last night on KS. Pitt had one open look after another in the 2nd half … even the shooter, Johnson … and it was one clank after another.


    1. Artis 3-11, Jeter 3-11, Johnson 2-10

      Pitt made 1 FG in last 14 minutes last night; vs NC State, Pitt made1 FG in last 8 minutes …. and in both games, they had a chance to win in final minute


  24. The team was even missing foul shots in the second half. Jones missed five in the game and he’s your shooting guard!


  25. I was ready to bash KS after the game last night but wow, this team has one good player (Young) and zero focus. The mistakes are grade school level some times. These guys have no swagger.

    Don’t get me wrong, KS takes blame for many things this year but this game is not one.


  26. Austin, I wrote about those phone calls back in early 2011 with after DW last Pitt. That was no secret and was inferred to on some radio broadcasts back then also.

    Believe what you want but it happened just that way.

    I agree on that classless move at his press conference and again it showed that he wanted the players to take sides.

    As far as schedule goes, in college football today as always it is a popularity contest to get into that top four teams for the playoffs and it used to be to get into the top 10 or 15 teams in the poll rankings.

    Those rankings matter and they matter a lot for the perception of the team and the program. And a athletic director needs to schedule the hardest schedule you can so that when we win games they mean something. We just referred to the Clemson and the Penn State wins as big games in 2016 and they sure were.

    That was what put us on the national map this season, it certainly wasn’t any other games on our schedule especially the bowl game. If we want to reach that ‘next level’ as they say then we have to beat teams that are already at that level and that’s the way to do it. You can’t play cream puffs… not with Pitt’s reputation as a middling football team.

    Penn State can get away with it because they are Penn State and their National reputation is so much higher than ours.

    Also those games against great opponents bring in television appearances and television money and they bring in people to the stadium. Again, if you want to be in the next level you have to fill your Stadium up all the time.


    1. The classless move at the press conference was putting him there is the first place. He was there to placate the environment for the guy who fired him. THINK ABOUT THAT!

      And if he told his recruits not to come .. why in the hell was he offered a job in the administration? That makes no sense whatsoever.

      You and others will continue to believe what you want; I and others will believe otherwise.


  27. Emel, that is a perfect summation. Every season left us with the feeling something wasn’t complete.

    I think. Fans would be happier over the last two years if we would have lost one more regular-season game but won the bowl game to make 8 wins.

    Winning the last game of season means that we fans would have a lot more optimism going into the offseason. Losing to a team like Northwestern, whatever the circumstances, leaves a bad taste in the mouth for the rest of the year.


    1. As an aside, speaking of Northwestern – seems like it is their year. Beating Pitt and winning a bowl game after almost forever, they are now poised to make the NCAA Basketball Tourney for the first time in….forever. Yup, they have never made the hardwood tourney ever.

      Sigh, no chance of redemption for Pitt against them on the hardwood court.



  28. Saw a Pitt Football commercial last night, Narduzzi imploring the fans to show up.

    Not sure how I feel about it. He certainly recognizes the problem and is willing to take it head on.

    But the song “Ain’t to proud to beg” keeps coming to mind.

    At least the Athletic Department is making an effort to increase attendance. Hopefully they come up with a lot more creative ideas. Getting a new AD in place would seem to be somewhat urgent although I don’t get the feeling that the Powers that Be are treating it that way.


  29. While I agree with wbb that the performance of the players was off the charts bad. I can’t give Stallings a pass. Yes the bottom line is that someone needed to make a shot, and that is on the players. But their complete lack of confidence and repeated stupid mistakes is on coaching. I have never seen a team that gets fewer easy baskets around the rim.

    I think we are all way past ready for this season to be over. Next year is going to really be bad. We are stuck with Stallings for at least two more years, probably three. Lot’s of new faces the next two years, hopefully some of them will be memorable.


  30. Sorry to say but absent playing ND, PSU or WVU, Narduzzi doesn’t have a snow balls chance in hell of selling out Heinz Field for any Pitt home game. The only exception might be if Pitt goes into its final home with a shot at the national title.


    1. Seeing as how the final home game is usually on Thanksgiving weekend when the students are gone a sellout even then is unlikely.


  31. I like the commercial where Narduzzi throws the football against a wall and yells out “we don’t need a game ball” or something like that.

    The mess the PITT basketball program imo is no fault of Stallings. That said I would like to see changes soon.

    Reed: I made a mention of the Pederson undermining. I know you’ve been saying all along that it was Nordy who did the firing. Yes/maybe but only after he had steve hounding him to hell behind DW’s back. The snake in the grass was most certainly steve.


    1. I’m friends with the former football video coordinator under Wannstedt and he told me that Smiley went to Nordy to have Dave fired because Smiley got fed up with how beloved Wannstedt was by the school and how so many administrators loathed Steve. Pure jealously on Steve’s part. I still blame Nordy for listening to Steve and being so incompetent.

      My friend is now a video coordinator with the Arizona Cardinals, so he was on the inside as close as anyone could be when that all unfolded.


      1. Thank you Tx for the true story here. This was pure hate and jealousy that cost the PITT football program ever since. and let’s not forget the SI article to punctuate the undermining of the steve.

        Now imagine if you loved your place of employment and for no good reason was thrown out of your job. Possibly a little disenchanted? maybe? and before someone (Reed) tells me again that DW was losing control of the program. That goes hand in hand with an AD not being on board with the football head-coach.


      2. This actually makes sense. As I indicated above, the only reason that Steve urged Wanny to speak at the presser where he was fired (think about that) was to try to placate the environment … which was very toxic at the time. So Wanny was not only fired, he had to speak about how the FB program would be in good hands going forward … so as to quell the Stevie dissenters.

        It was all about Stevie …. it was always about Stevie … he could never do any wrong. I just sad that it took so darn long to catch up with that smug SOB! And we all had to suffer


  32. Who ran the story that Wannstedt was telling the recruits not to come to Pitt ?

    Again if that was true, as wwb pointed out, why would Pitt offer Wanny an upstairs job.

    Was that good ole Paul Zeise ? You know they guy, who has a marginal player son, who they (he)were(was) looking for a ‘free ride’ for college for.


    1. Wanny and staff did call the recruits … I don’t dispute this at all. But was told to themis that the coaches would no longer be there, and if you had any other favorites, you should serious ly consider going there.

      Remember, this was December getting towards the end of the recruiting cycle … and unless you’re a blue chip, your options are dwindling. Also remember, Wanny was a player’s guy … as evidenced by the strong show of support by the players at the aforementioned press conference. He was thing of the kids … but Stevie only thinks of one person.


      1. I’ll even give the guy’s name — Jeff Wallo. He could be found in any Cardinals media guide. Worked with the Browns before going to Pitt. Loved Pitt, lost his job when Graham took over. He made the Dream On Pitt video on Youtube.

        Those video guys are glued at the hip with the coaches, working all hours the coaches are working. They know ALL that is going on.


    1. Reed posted: “Gee I guess hearing it from the video guy trumps talking directly with the actual Chancellor.”
      = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

      Is this a political statement? 🙂


    1. Emil, you took the words right out of my mouth. Why would the chancellor throw his AD under a bus. Reed, I get the fact that you are much closer with the PITT hierarchy but I do wonder sometimes if you are just given info they want you to have?? No offense intended.


  33. Water over the damn, but that decision cost Pitt, at a time when Wanny could have had a great chance, to bring Pitt back into either equaling or surpassing the Creepy Valley Pedo’s who were going to be embroiled in their little pedophilia problem very shortly after that.

    Pitt was in total disarray and unable to take advantage of a situation that will likely never exist again at Pedo State.


  34. Speaking of insiders. Back then while all this backstabbing was going on I had a family member who was very good friends with many of the PITT football team at that time. It was a well known fact what steve was doing and those two hated each other. Wannstedth had faith that in the end, Nordy would take his side. He didn’t. I don’t question the fact that Nordy had the final say in the firing. Yet it was totally based on steve’s hate for DW.

    Everyone hates Graham but he also has a story to tell and I wish he would. He ran from Pittsburgh for one reason and his name is steve!!


  35. Peterson was worse than the 7 year locusts and the plague for Pitt football. He not only screwed up the coaching situation and therefore the football program but demolished Pitt stadium thereby blowing away the opportunity to renovate Pitt stadium and still have an attractive on campus stadium to improve attendance and game day experience. We could have had the Pete at a different location and still had on campus football or had a domed stadium instead of the Pete and Heinz. The real question is who were the idiots that went along with Nordy when he rehired Pedo after his lack of success at Pitt the first time and getting fired for destroying Nebraska’s football program in 3 short years! Methinks some times there is too much cronyism of the wrong kind in Academia.


  36. I think a more appropriate third decade would have been the Pop Warner era when we won some national championships. So this would have really been the first decade, the Sutherland years the second decade, and Majors/Sherrill the third great decade. 2007 to today doesn’t come close to matching those three time periods. Although a 58% winning percentage since 2007 is on a par with our overall winning percentage, the only reason for this is because we had some absolutely horrible eras (e.g., 1965-1973 and Majors II), which dragged down our overall percentage. If we hadn’t had those horrible periods, our overall winning percentage would be 65%-70%, so 58% since 2007 would just be mediocre.


  37. Pitt has been it’s own worst enemy at times. But for now, things are looking much better in football. Narduzzi is recruiting well and the staff is positioned to lend stability and improvement for the first time in years. BB will need help and a new AD will need to figure things out. But for now, keep recruiting and building the foundation to better results. Pitt wins two more games if Luther is healthy. Tough loss but Stallings just doesn’t have the depth and horses to win close games.


  38. KS doesnt have the coaching ability to take what he’s got and win. Hate to say it, but a Dixon led team would probably have made the NCAA. Granted they are his players but KS hasnt been able to adapt. Thats a huge red flag to me.


  39. Come on @pitt60 Stevie P is a genius he screwed up Nebraska football and recieved a nice contractual buy out and Pitt hired him and payed him a lot of cash and bought out his contract. The guy made millions being incompetent wow I missed the boat in life.


  40. After last nights BB game, I have officially given up. I will still watch the games expecting new ways to lose.


  41. Ike – first of all that’s pretty f*cking insulting. Believe me I do not run to the keyboard every time I hear or see something about Pitt football. Matter of fact it is very rarely I do so. I learned that lesson back when a player who was on the 49’ers squad told his grandfather that our next DC would be Jim Tomsula. That was ‘straight from the horses mouth’ and was untrue so I don’t ever say anything on here that I’m not 100% sure of…. unless I say “I think” or “I believe”

    Secondly, I had a pretty damned long profession where i had to sift through facts, bad info, good info, assumptions and everything else under the sun to get to the truth so that we could finish our missions, some life or death. I was in Law Enforcement for part of those 33 years, and a stint working with Coast Guard Intelligence for a bit so I know when someone is jerking my chain.

    But you guys tend to believe exactly what you want to believe even I’ve explained it to you many times. Like the phone call thing… it happened, that is exactly the type of man he was and you all need to forget your opinions that he walked on water.

    Quit defending DW when it was clear he not only turned his back on his alma mater but also stabbed Pitt in the back repeatedly…

    Remember this about Graham’s handling of Sunseri…? “If he was my son, he would be gone. I would pull him out of there and transfer him.” Wow guys – that ain’t a knock on Graham… that is DW running down both the program and Pitt – and let’s be honest here also – DW was probably livid because Graham got way more production out of Sunseri that DW ever did.

    Gee – that combined with his piss-ant dog and player show press conference – called by DW BTW wwb not Pederson…his childish rants against Pitt on every f*cking public soapbox he could find and yet you still think he walks on water and was wronged.

    I know what I know. The fact is that Wannstedt was a narcissist of the 1st degree and pout and lashed out when called on his crap… yet you guys still think everyone else is lying.

    Good God. Would any one of you guys have stooped so low as to use 18-22 year old kids as a shield against criticism. No – if you had any sort of mature pride you sure wouldn’t.

    Notice he didn’t stick around in that press conference but made some asinine statement then scurried off the stage. He didn’t have the guts to even take one hard question about his actions. He waited until there was no chance of interference then lobbed his bullshit all over the place.

    Oh – wwb, Pitt never ‘offered’ DW a job. They allowed him to fulfill his current contractual duties which was in effect until after the bowl game – that way DW didn’t get financially penalized by ‘resigning’ while under contract. His actual resignation date was Jan 8th, 2011.

    But I guess that’s a lie also.


    1. Reed, Dave said the below comment because it was a terrible system for Tino, who got sacked something like 60 times in 2011. Wannstedt was right. Tino’s best seasons were in 2010 and 2012, in a pro-style system. Graham hasn’t done squat with his QBs at ASU.

      “Remember this about Graham’s handling of Sunseri…? “If he was my son, he would be gone. I would pull him out of there and transfer him.” Wow guys – that ain’t a knock on Graham… that is DW running down both the program and Pitt – and let’s be honest here also – DW was probably livid because Graham got way more production out of Sunseri that DW ever did.”


    2. Reed, your DW hatred has made you go f**king insane. Graham got more production from Tino than Wanny? In 2010, Tino had a higher QB rating, more yards per attempt, more TDs and less INTs than he had in 2011


      And then you say he wasn’t offered an admin job? here is an excerpt of his firing …

      “The former Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins coach, highly respected by Pitt’s administration, will remain at the school as a special assistant to athletic director Steve Pederson.”

      Here is the article:


      If you wish, I will provide more proof


  42. rayhpgh,
    CONGRATS on your new granddaughter!!!! Currently have 4 grandsons ages 5 to 1. One more and they’ll call me “Coach”!


  43. Reed, boy I got your panties in a uproar there. “Calm down, have some dip”

    I will not stop defending DW, you should stop defending steve pederson and Nordernberg.

    I thank you for your service to our country but PITT football is not the Coast Guard although I believe you were told what they wanted you to hear while serving. That may be the one common theme.

    I’m not on this blog to insult people but I want to give my opinion.

    I think they did offer DW a job but knew he would never take it.

    Like I posted. I did have a reliable source at the same time as all this went down. I just do not spout what I want to believe, there is some education behind what I post.

    Reed Posted “I don’t ever say anything on here that I’m not 100% sure of…. unless I say “I think” or “I believe”
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

    ^^^ ike posts, I think that’s pretty much true with everyone on this blog, ike included.


  44. rayhpgh… congrats on baby 👶 girl… I got my granddaughter 1 year ago.. she has a 3 year old brother… your little girl will wrap herself around your heart … so different than boys!


  45. I have no idea who is right, and honestly at this point could give two shits. I do know he is not the sharpest tool in the shed and anyone who played with him will tell you that. Time to move on, put this to bed, and gear up for the next man up (AD) and hope for the best. What am I looking for in the next AD? A guy who physically and morally has no flaws so Upitt looses his mind. I do think if he looks like Huggy it would be fine! lol


  46. Back to the topic of this blog … recent FB history. This might tell you something…

    Jerry DiPaolaVerified account

    Something I should have known, but just realized. Nathan Peterman will be only 3rd Pitt QB drafted since Marino (Savage, ’14; Van Pelt, ’93)


    1. But FWIW, Savage was 7-6 if you count the bowl win vs BG when Voytik led a comeback

      and Pitt was 3 and 9 in ’92 (AVP’s senior year)


      1. Despite Hackett being a jag off, with the offensive talent in 1992 that team never should have won just three games. AVP, Curtis Martin, Jells, Rob Coons and a very good offensive line. Scored six points versus WVU?


  47. I came to loathe Wanny as a coach. As a person and a onetime friend, he was a terrific human being…. but a narcissist indeed. It was never his fault at Miami, Chicago and Pitt.

    Who fired him no longer matters.

    That the Pitt BOT and Nordy made so many awful cheap decisions really put the football program in reverse.

    And here we are again …. day 107 of no AD and not any interview in sight. What Pitt management is probably doing is interviewing recruiting company’s for the one that can give them the most cover after the next FUp hire!!!


  48. To Hell with Wanny, Cornhole and Nerdball. I’m on the Nard Dog train now. Still waiting on a new AD (God must hate me since my prayers for Tressell haven’t been answered yet). And I do like what Gallagher has said…front porch n nat. But I don’t want him making another decision or final call on AD. Some damn search firm will unfortunately that will protect the BoT and the Chancellor. Again, Pitt’s structure is antiquated. The BoT which is the swamp must be drained. And all the cronies and bureaucrats within the Athletics department must be told…’You’re either with us, or against us.’

    My scale of dislike:
    1. Cornhole 2
    2. BoT
    3. Bozik
    4. Posvar
    5. Nerdball
    6. Barnes
    7. KS
    8. Hacket
    9. Wanny
    10. Tino 🙂


  49. ~ Pitt60….spot on brother. Pitt reeks of cronyism or they never would have rehired Cornhole back, after he was RUN OUT OF TOWN…..in Lincoln, Ne.

    Mazel Tov


  50. Emel predicts loser Tom McCann man will be higher on your list the longer he’s allowed to steal $2 million a year at Pitt.


  51. Congrats to grandpa Rayh. Fearful the long AD wait will bring a bad choice. I want to be optimistic but have seen this circular firing squad before…too many times.


  52. Wanny,

    He was a disappointment in my mind. Had one huge WTF game every year, His defense never changed no matter what the down or distance or game situation was. His QB recruiting was dreadful.

    Did he make the calls…considering he was willing to blast SP years after on TV, I believe he did and the fact that that class feel apart so quickly tells me he did. Using the kids like that was classless. getting fired sucks, but in sports it is to be expected. It’s not like getting fired in the real world.

    That said, I think wlat did a good job raising the program but ran his course. I think Wanny did go one more step but ran his course. I think if Narduzzi was hired at that point we would be in a better position now.

    SP was a complete failure in every way. I mean if you couldn’t see that script was the way to go then how can you possibly make any decision on any subject matter.

    We are one year away from being a real threat and not a “surprise” program.

    Two years, no bad losses and a few great wins. I do not count the NW game as a WTF game due to injuries. I mean we played poorly and lost Peterman, Conner, DJ and others and had no Whitehead, Jarret and others and still almost pulled it out so I am not counting it as a WTF game. What Narduzzi has done at the QB position alone is so much better than Chryst or Wanny did. I remember people saying Tino can’t be that bad when three different coaches had him starting, but he would have never started for Narduzzi because he would have turned every rock to find someone better.


    1. Narduzzi is better than Wannstedt, but the Northwestern bowl game was definitely a WTF game. Just the sequence alone where Aston was walking into the end zone and slipped, Conner gets stuffed then NW went 99 yards for a TD qualifies. A 10-0 lead becomes a 7-3 deficit and Pitt was flustered the rest of the game.

      Terrible loss! The Navy bowl game was bad, too. Totally appeared to be unprepared. And don’t give me that Navy had a good QB so it was OK to lose that one.

      Wanny was good for continuity because he was never looking for another job while working on a cheap budget. He wasn’t taking Pitt to the 6-6 records we became accustomed to after he left. That alone was reason enough to keep him four more years and have him retire.


      1. Navy was ranked and playing at home though but yeah a dreadful game, the worst to date in the Narduzzi era.

        The sequence you speak of was bad, but c’mon we finished the game with DeNucci at QB and still lost by what 7? If it was not a Bowl game Peterman, Conner and Jarret finish that game. That statement is based on nothing but I do not think Narduzzi takes the Bowl games (or the ones we have played in – second third tier) as serious as he should. That statement is also not based on facts. Just the feeling I have looking at what I see.

        I think the above proves that the expectations have increased greatly in the Narduzzi era.


  53. Re: Search firms.. had a basketball conversation with one of my “Wolfpack” patients this morning … NCSU is going this route


  54. Rumors have it that the Pitt Spring FB Game will be played on Saturday, April 15th. Reed is working on confirming that date as fact with EJ, so that we can begin to finalize the 1st POV Golf Outing – tentative date is Friday, April 14th with a noon tee time at Quicksilver Golf Club.

    The golf details are being hammered out – travel plans should wait until the dates are actually confirmed by the “secretive”, AD-less Pitt Athletic Dept.



  55. Help me out. Hasn’t Pitt had a lot of ADs over the past 25 years? Seems like it. They seem to leave to go somewhere else to work. Long. Barnes. Any reason for that? SP had a relationship with Nordenberg. Dixon got lucky and was named HC under SP and had great success. Why do the ADs leave Pitt? Were they fired or driven out?

    Guys, I come to this site to read interesting comments about Pitt sports. Not to read arguments about someone vociferously disagreeing about someone else’s comment. Reed, it must be tough to sift through some of these comments. Hang in there. Remember this: Non carborundum illegitmati est (sic).


    1. a couple of clarifications:

      1, Dixon came in as an assistant under SP but SP didn’t hire him as HC. SP’s replacement did (forgot his name)

      where are you coming from? This blog as well as Pitt Blather has had numerous postings for several years listing arguments against someone else’s opinion. In fact, Chas (Blather) prided himself as never deleting a post just because he didn’t like the poster’s opinion … and I believe Reed is following suit. There are reasons to delete posts but dissenting viewpoints isn’t one of them.


      1. Mark Boehm (sp?) hired Dixon when he was the interim AD. I think he hired Agnus also and she took the Pitt women to a Sweet 16 before the roof caved in for some reason.


  56. wwb…that is funny. Is there a web site to make that? I could come up with a million of them for my democratic friends. LOL


    1. I believe there is but not sure. (donalddraws.com — note bottom right of picture) I copied it from Chris Peak’s Pantherlair twitter.


  57. wwb….There is an app, I saw the web site at the bottom of the pic just after I asked you. Thanks.


  58. Wow – I would have thought we’d get more readers wanting to do this POV Round Table Call-in… only one taker so far.

    Is it because It’s Friday night or because no one uses Skype yet?

    I’ll accept more takers up until 7:00 pm or so.


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