It’s an in-between period for Pitt football right now.  We are over the euphoria of the Mark Whipple hire.  The schedule has been released and we’ve made our initial win-loss predictions and travel plans.  There are a couple of weeks until signing day.

Besides some recruiting and transfer cleanup, the biggest question is who will be our next Wide Receivers coach?

It’s an important role.  Whipple loves to throw the ball, and one could argue that our roster is chock full of talented-yet-underdeveloped Wide Receivers.

Or course there has been no news, and really no solid rumors in the public blogoshphere.  The most tangible conversation around the Pitt WR Coach is “Will Whipple hire Leonard Hankerson?”  For those that don’t know Hankerson, he’s the former Miami Hurricane / Former NFL WR / Current WR Coach for the Umass Minutemen (who of course were coached by Whipple).

As far as qualifications, Hankerson did have lights-out senior year at Miami (72 rec / 1156 yds / 13 TD), and he did manage to stick around for five years in the NFL, but his coaching experience is a bit light.  Per Wikipedia:  “Leonard Hankerson joined Mark Whipple’s UMass football staff as an offensive graduate assistant in July 2017 and earned a promotion into the role of wide receivers coach for the 2018-19 school year.[28]

So yeah.  I’m guessing they will be looking for someone a little more senior.

Nobody has any idea who that might be.

The only other college receivers coach with obvious Whipple ties Aubrey Hill.  Hill was the WR coach at Miami from 2009 – 2010, and he didn’t do a bad job, so I decided to do a little research on him.

And you know what?  Aubrey Hill actually makes a lot of sense, and there are four really solid reasons.

First, He’s currently a Wide Receiver coach at a lesser school.  Hill did a brief stint at Marshall and spent 2018 on the Florida International staff under Butch Davis.  At FIU Hill coached a couple of 600-yard WR’s and was part of a passing game that threw for over 3000 yards.

Second, he’s coached under Whipple (see above).

Third, he has University of Pittsburgh experience.  That right.  Hill coached Pitt’s WR’s from 2005-2007 and made all Big-East performers out of of Greg Lee and Derek Kinder.

Fourth, and possibly most importantly, Hill has got some serious recruiting pedigree.  He was Miami’s recruiting coordinator in 2010, and then he coached Miami Carol High School for four years.  Hill won the 2016 6A Florida State Championship while at Carol, along with the “Miami Dolphins High School Coach of the Year Award”.

Yes there is the unsightly blemish of some 2011 Nevin Shapiro scandal allegations on Hill’s resume, but I’ll be damned if this guy doesn’t deserve a second chance.  Everybody makes mistakes in this world, and with AD Heather Lyke’s compliance background, you can be sure that Pitt is running a tight ship in this area.  Hill has paid his debt to the NCAA, and as long as he has learned his lesson, Pitt could do a lot worse.

So lets go back and summarize all of this…

There exists a Wide Receiver Coach who 1) has Pittsburgh ties, 2) has a track-record of developing talent, 3) is currently employed by a lesser (and easily poachable) school, and 4) has the kind of High School recruiting ties that would give any head coach looking to recruit South Florida a Victory Lights smile.

Nope.  No way we even sniff this one.  It just makes way too much sense.

Hail to Pitt

Michaelangelo

 

232 thoughts on “WR Coach Search

  1. JD Brookhart would be another former Pitt assistant name I would consider. He was the WR coach at Pitt prior to becoming the HC at Akron.

    I looked at Aubrey Hill last week and eliminated him because of his tie in to the huricanne mess.

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  2. If you want a Pitt man, check out Nate Byham TE coach at Albany or Michael Shanahan WR coach at JMU.

    Here is a recent excerpt from the JMU head coach Curt Cignetti on Shanahan –

    “He’s extremely bright, he’s an excellent coach and has a great work ethic,” Cignetti told JMU Athletics. “He’s also the recruiting coordinator and has done a nice job in developing players at the receiver position.

    This is the third destination where Shanahan and Cignetti have linked up. After spending a year together at Indiana (Pa.), Shanahan spent the last two seasons with him at Elon.

    “He has great potential in this profession and he’s an extremely loyal and trustworthy guy,” Cignetti said. “His players respect him immensely and he’s only going to get better and better.”

    H2P!

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  3. Whipple won’t recruit much. We need a WR coach who can recruit, and recruit well. I’d love anyone who can recruit Florida, especially with WPIAL recruiting being a shell of its former self. So Hill would be a great choice. Heather would keep him in line.

    On a separate note, going down to minus 5 overnight here in Wilkes-Barre. I guess I should cancel my tee time tomorrow morning. 😳

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Hey Erie!!! Speaking of golf, it’s never too early to start thinking about a date for the 2019 POV golf outing.

    My teenage son can now hit it 30 yards past me. I’m bringing the teenagers again and will hunt town the coveted POV Golf Tournament Championship. Picked up new Mizuno irons, so I’ll be ready to go too.

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  5. Colorado State had two of the top receivers in CFB last season. I checked who their WR coach was and there you have it.

    Started when the Saints jumped out to a 13-0 lead – can’t stand the Saints.

    Should I send an e-mail to Heather?

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      1. Completed the e-mail to AD HL.

        Now, is Pitt’s P5 payscale enough to pull the dude away from the state of Colorado with the many “ffringe” benefits available to it’s residences?

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  6. Have a lot of respect for Shanahan and Bynam but I go with Eric again. PITT pulled in a good OC with QB duties but a suspect recruiting past.. The new WR’s coach has to help recruit star WR talent from everywhere, anywhere and other positions as well. Guess what, not a whole hell of a lot in WPA. Having said that……. I think Gipson is a great recruit…. . …ike

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  7. MIKE,
    Great article and I agree with your thoughts on Aubrey Hill. Having a pipeline into Florida is YUGE!!!!…..and, yes, everyone deserves a 2nd chance to make up for a previous wrongdoing.

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  8. Dear Missingwlat, YOU LIVE IN WILKES-BARRE! My mother was born (1919) and bred in Nanticoke. She worked as a waitress at Percy Browns in Wilkes-Barre. All of our Mom’s have amazing stories, when my Mom was a teenager her older sister had a baby in NYC; my Mom went there to help out and ended up being a nanny that summer for a wealthy Jewish family on Park Ave in Manhattan. Get this ; my Mom was Catholic and their livery driver drove her to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Mass on Sunday; my Mom said he wore a livery driver’s hat. My Mom, a coal miner’s daughter rode in the back seat of a limousine to Church.

    But I digress, I think bottom line,
    Whipple will only be as good as his neutrality in the selection of a Pitt QB this coming season. Hey Coach Pat- hands off; this also affects your legacy..

    Hey Kenny I know you check out the POV; your new Coach Whipple does not want to be the second Pitt coach that you contributed in firing.

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    1. Transplanted (no pun intended, as I still need a kidney transplant!) to here in 1999. My wife works in Nanticoke, at Luzerne County Community College. My college roommate married a girl from Nanticoke. My wife’s nanny as a kid worked at Percy Brown’s. Small, small world.

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      1. MW I spent a lot of time in Nanticoke. A good friend of mine lived there, Richard (Rico) Kozlowski, his dad was a barber. We had some great times there from 79 to 81.

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        1. I find it hard to believe ANYONE had any great times there in Nanticoke from 79 to 81, or ever.

          Haha, kidding a bit. Dad coached at Wyoming Area and later Wilkes for a short time.

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      1. MM- I thought about it before hitting the “Post Comment” button. but the Stanford game when Pitt receivers were waving their arms in the end zone and screaming that they were open made me push the button. I can just imagine Watson in the booth when that was happening saying, ” He may be blind, but I’m out of a job.”

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          1. KP was terrible!
            YouTube videos of private lessons…well, whomever’s paying for those is getting taken.
            He was well below average…better still, terrible.
            Miami, Clemson, Stanford.
            Blame Watson all you want, but if he’s the starter next year, we’ll be lucky to make .500.
            And now you made me blow my half-full New Year’s resolution.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Tony — I certainly understand the frustration with how KP played – especially in those last 3 games. I just don’t think it’s fair to blame KP for Watson getting fired. I think it’s the coach’s job to bring out the best in the kid.

          It’s being able to get the players to do the things that win games that makes good coaches.

          Personally, I wasn’t impressed at all with Watson’s plays or his play calling. I thought he did little, scheme-wise, to cover for our weaknesses.

          Like wouldn’t some screen passes have helped against the heavy pass rushes? Wasn’t Hall, with his speed, a perfect candidate for wheel routes? Even the talking heads on TV were saying how on our roll-out plays, our receivers were bunched too close together.

          And I bet KP wishes he had seen a wide open receiver in that end zone… Probably been kickin’ himself for a while on that one.

          Go Pitt.

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  9. I hope Steelers management is watching this Chiefs/Pats game. Chief’s soft and cheesy defense looks a lot like the Steelers defense. This could be the Pat’s running game ripping through the mushy Steelers interior line and LBs.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Kenny Pickett has a chance to bounce back if Watson didn’t ruin him for his career? The young man has the arm, athleticism and work ethic to be worked back into a P-5 QB. No, he didn’t play very well this past season and I do believe an open QB competition would be for the best. I also wouldn’t be surprised if KP wins the competition. AGAIN!

    Maybe that’s why we see Whipple as the new hire as offensive coordinator? A quarter-backs coach as well.

    You guys and gals will get tired of me saying this but he was the starting QB that won the ACC Coastal division. << What I mean by that is he was very instrumental in the play calling at the line of scrimmage that led to TWO running backs running for over 1,000 yards this past year for the first time in PITT’s history.

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  11. Ike,
    Watson was booted for marketing purposes.
    Why?
    Because nobody wants to throw out their hard-earned to watch 79 yards of passing.

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  12. Ike I agree that folks are sometimes being too hard on Pickett, but your point that Pickett was instrumental in the running game is a bit much. I don’t recall KP throwing any blocks or opening any hold for the RBs.

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  13. He’s better than he showed this year. I won’t blame his troubles solely on the poor play of the o line, but that was a big part of it. And our receivers need to be better at creating separation. Add to that Watson’s ignoring the tight end and precious little use of George Aston as a receiver, and I’m not ready to write KP off yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ll always wonder why Pitt wasted versatile Aston this year. He will probably end up on an NFL roster next year but was never really part of the offense. No wonder Watson got fired. He had no TEs but still failed to use him effectively.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. MM – well thought out response concerning KP and Coach Watson. Here’s my take on the upcoming season for OC Whipple:

    You have 5 QBs (I think from memory still have eligibility) to pick from: Kenny P, Nick Pattie, Jeff G, Ricky T, and 4 star recruit Davis Beville.

    If we go with KP and get QB play like we did in 2018 and do not explore going with one of the other 4 guys, Pitt football is doomed once again

    And once again, POVites will be thinking up cute sarcasms to display their angst.

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  16. Whipple coming in provides the perfect opportunity to reassess the QB position without making it look like KP is being demoted. That is unless Narduzzi said he is off limits. Can’t believe Whipple would take the job under those circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. How can Kenny possibly be “off limits” with the (lack of) numbers he put up last year? I guess we’ll all find out soon enough – if Richman can sneak into a practice with Heather! :>)

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  18. Entering the last season, the job was definitely Pickett’s to lose. After all, he was the ONLY returning QB. Heck, the back-ups hadn’t even run the scout team.

    This year, George and Patti has been in the program for a year. And then you add to the fact that a new offensive system is being implemented, I can’t see where he will be etched in stone. I can see him starting out as the favorited because of the experience factor but I believe the leash will be pretty short

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  19. PENN HILLS FOOTBALL@phqbclub

    The date is set!
    Join us for The Bill Fralic Memorial Golf Outing to benefit Penn Hills Football on Saturday July 13!
    9:00AM shotgun at @3LakesGolf
    We are expecting this to sell out quickly one we finalize the details!
    Information on how to register coming soon!#pennhillspride

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Pickett’s problem as I see it is he doesn’t see the field very well. Now I’m not sure if the reason behind that is the pressure he was under from our less than good OL early last season or not. Once you under pressure many hear footsteps even when there’s no footsteps to be heard. Thus IMO Pickett would almost always throw to the receiver the play called for and not really look for the others that may be open. I’m not sure if there is a cure for that disease.

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    1. at the Georgia Tech game, I sat in the front section of the top level, and can see the receivers very well. Now I know it is easier for me from my vantage point to see them than a QB who has to worry about oncoming rushers.

      But late in the 3rd quarter, Pitt had the game in hand and could have put the game out of hand with a TD. (score was 24-6 at the time) They ran a gimmick reverse then lateraled back to Pickett who had the primary receiver wide open at the goal line … yet, for whatever reason, he waited a couple of seconds before passing. The result was an interception (even though it was clearly PI) with a long return. This kept GT in the game.

      There were also a few other time when receivers were open but Pickett just seemed reluctant

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  21. Whipple will be a tremendous help to KP. Watson took a free spirited gunslinger and turned him into a rubber robot. Believe it or not he was over-coached by SW.

    I wouldn’t mind Hill. He’s got experience and connections. Hankerson would be a good hire as well as he’s a little more relevant at the moment.

    PITT has got to do something about the two defensive back coaches. << Unnecessary and they recruit the same area which is an area PITT is not getting any commits from (Michigan) Move one of the two along already.

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    1. I am worried that Whipple will become too pass happy … that seems to be his history. But there is no doubt that Whipple is a czar of passing, and I will be shocked if the passing game doesn’t improve this year

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    1. the majority of his passes are thrown within 2 seconds … he is a master of the swing pass to the back (hear that Watson) or the 7 yard turn-in, etc. IMO, his expertise is evaluating the defense right before the snap and knowing who is going to be open immediately.

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      1. He definitely is the master of taking what the defense gives him.
        But his accuracy is amazing, he rarely misses the open guy. Passes are almost always very catchable.

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  22. wwb, I would bet that a Whipple starting QB would never throw for only 8 yards especially in a losing effort. I’m thinking the timing for his arrival is perfect for PITT.

    Again, calling the cops means the hotel next to the police precinct?? << I’m on to all this slang stuff…

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  23. I’m sure the budget to hire a receivers coach is piddly, so hire Hankerson and take advantage of his Florida ties to recruit some burners at receiver. The position needs talent in the worst way, and I’m hearing there might be two current players at the position leaving the program.

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  24. Don’t know the details, but it looks like Mr. Whipple started 3 different QBs at UMass last season and 2 of them ended up just about splitting the time.

    So that’s a bit of evidence that Mr. Whipple is willing to try different QBs.

    Now they lost some games big, and struggled to score points in others, which might explain it. But we did too.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing two guys play until one shows he’s most deserving…

    And I still struggle with things that’s just don’t make any sense to me. Like that a coach would play one guy when he knows a backup is better and gives the team a better chance to win. Someone explain that one to me.

    Go Pitt.

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  25. By the way one of the most egregious non-calls ever gave the game to the Rams.

    Refs are part of the game, but that one was sickening, even though I was rooting for Donald’s Rams.

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  26. Just watched Vukovan’s Podcast on PSN. Pretty good update on all things recruiting.

    Sounds like they only have room for 1-2 guys and Devonshire is the major target.

    So at least on paper another below the line recruiting class.

    The trend is not good, but I am not sure what can be done about it.

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    1. there appears to be no mass exodus this year like there has been in recent years. Maybe waiting on Devonshire is not wise, but easy for me to say

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  27. The QB position is probably the most difficult to assess, with its combination of physical and mental skills. Pickett rarely made the right choices, missed open receivers, and wouldn’t stay in the pocket. But there is also an experience factor in college that goes against having inexperienced back ups enter the game. At the college level, where practice time is limited, it is hard to see how a coach can make a change to the starting QB in mid season (unless it is Alabama or Clemson that has 5 stars sitting on the bench). It is doubtful that Patti or George were ready to step in early in the season, and Narduzzi is so sold on Pickett that he would never make a change.

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  28. Concerning our recruiting, this is YEAR FIVE!!!! – and our recruiting is still blah! The talented “game changers” we had were almost all Paul Chryst recruits and they are now all gone and Duzz has only his own players for this year 5. Recruiting is the LIFE BLOOD of a college program and if it doesn’t change now ( how, I don’t know) a big shake up needs to take place IMHO.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Mike – thanks for the post!
    Love the idea of bringing someone like Shanahan or Byham in.
    Wondering if perhaps Whipple may want to make other changes on the offensive staff as well.

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  30. After listening to the Vukovan podcast, it seems like they are actually focusing too much on Florida. We all know the reasons such as it is a hotbed of talent, and FL, FSU and Miami can’t get them all (and now UCF). But if they have 46 offers out as mentioned, then they are perhaps offering on Florida’s reputation and dipping a bit low on the talent level.

    It doesn’t seem like Pitt is getting recruiting production out of many of their assistant coaches from other areas, and Vukovan spoke specifically about Michigan and the lack of results from assist coaches plus PN who recruit that area. I wonder if they have even replaced their recruiting coordinator who left this past year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like Dokish’s posts. Some people call him a homer as if that is a bad thing. Last time I checked, those that do and consider themselves “realists” are generally negative in their comments. Enough of that in the rest of the world – I’m here for fun.

      Liked by 2 people

  31. To me it always goes back to which is more important, Coaching talent or Player talent?

    I’m always going to lean toward player talent, but coaching certainly does make a difference.

    Take Belicheat for example. Pretty average coach before Tom Brady, now the greatest of all time.

    Would Brady have the results he has without his coach, probably not, but he still would have been great.

    So does Whipple make a huge difference this year? We shall see, but I am not holding my breath, not with a brand new line and an inaccurate QB.

    Although it does seem that even great players can’t be successful without good coaching. Take the Steelers, an assemblage of many great ones have only won 3 playoff games in the last 8 years. With several all-pros on the line, a great running back a group of all-stars at receiver and a future HOF QB, only three playoff wins and one was a gift.

    But I also believe that Ben’s lack of character and leadership ability is certainly at fault. With all the talent in the world, how does he have such poor playoff results? Why do so many Steeler receivers leave town? Sure a big part is money, but why the receivers? They certainly have had great ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess the key sentence here is … “As a coach, Beatty has required a strong reputation both as a coach and a recruiter”

      we’ll see

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    1. wwb — thanks for that link. Schools always post flattering bios, but Coach Beatty’s got some chops. If you’re disappointed in this hire, read the resume that wwb linked.

      He’s been there and done that.

      Looking at the backgrounds of Mr. Whipple and Coach Beatty, I’d bet the offensive players, especially the QBs and receivers, are pretty fired up.

      Go Pitt.

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    1. Beatty is another one of those very-well-traveled coaches. Hopefully he has picked up a lot of good coaching and recruiting techniques along the way…

      Even though he worked a year or so with Mr. Whipple, Hankerson is a bit thin on experience…

      I think a local guy to keep an eye on as an up and coming coach, though he’s really just getting started, is Derek Moye. He coached the WRs at Aliquippa last season (Pitt recruit Gipson), and now he’s going to be head coach at Western Beaver… He played at Rochester, PSU, and a bit with the Steelers…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  32. Another Big 10 coach, and interestingly, another Former Associate HC at Maryland. Hopefully if there are any decent Maryland transfers to be had, between Borbley and Beatty can reel them in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Alvarez has no beef with Pitt, and would give an honest assessment IMO. Not sure about a WVU referral though … see that he coached Noel Devine and Tavon Austin

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      1. Alvarez used Pitt with Chryst. I still can’t believe we did that for Wisconsin. I would not trust that guy further than Pickett could complete a pass this season.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. maybe a bit harsh Tossing. You may remember that Bielema left Wisc a year after PC came here, and even though many sources cited PC to return to Wisc, Alvarez said that it would not be right for him to come back in only one year.

          Now I do not disagree that Pitt was a HC training stop, but he stayed here what sadly is average for a Pitt HC ,,, 3 years. And further, he could have stayed here if he wanted … I’m sure there was no clause in his contract forcing him to exit

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          1. I’m not a fan of the how the entire Chryst hire went down. Alvarez influenced Pitt boosters to overturn SP’s choice, which was presumed to be Cristobal. I’m no fan of SP but for an AD not associated with the school to create a coup is unacceptable … especially for the sole purpose as a training grounds for their own school. I don’t trust Alvarez in the least and wish Wisconsin nothing but L’s.

            Liked by 3 people

    1. I hope I didnt come to mind. 🙂
      Supposed good recruiter
      From Virginia
      And had assistant coaching titles and not just WR coach
      Plus he’s a brother and Pitt could use some diversity on its staff

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      1. Lets just see what excuse Narduzzi comes up with this year when the team fails to win 8 games and has a recruiting class ranked in the 50’s. Thats another way to spin it.

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    1. And at least 2 of those guys have been head coaches, giving us 3 head coaches on the staff…

      Though some would say none…😊

      Go Pitt.

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  33. Beatty is a very good hire – my first impression is that coach Beatty will help bolster recruiting in the Virginia area.

    Welcome and we look forward to your hard work paying dividends in 2019.

    Good job HCPN – looks Lyke a good fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those stats would be tagged to the OC we didn’t hire (Matt Canada).

      Beatty was hired to help bolster recruiting – he and Whipple should do just fine with helping improve our passing game stats in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pulled this from PSN –

        Throughout his multiple stops, Beatty has heavily recruited the Virginia area, which is where he grew up. He’s also recruited successfully in Georgia and Florida — where he beat Pitt for 2018 wide receiver Jeshaun Jones — and even in the Pittsburgh area, where he was the primary recruiter for 2019 Maryland signee Dino Tomlin.

        A 247 Sports article from December called Beatty one of Maryland’s “ace recruiters.”

        Liked by 1 person

  34. Chryst was always going to be a transitional coach after the the Wanny-Haywood-Fraud fiasco and he did his job assembling the players that would become our best offense in 30 years, guys still anchoring the line this year. He also was instrumental in the firing of SP which is probably more important. Unfortunately we had to live through Barnes and Stalling to see how bad things could really get.

    But Alvarez really did us a favor first giving us Chryst and then taking him back, when most wanted him gone anyway. The problem is that we still aren’t sure whether Narduzzi is good enough after four years.

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  35. He is considered a good recruiter which should be a priority when hiring a position coach. The rest of the job is not rocket science.

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    1. Everyone knows the technical details – it’s teaching them and actually getting the players to execute those details that separates the “coaches” from the impactful coaches…

      Our previous WR Coach, for whatever reason, did not “elevate” our WRs. Maybe this guy has the experience and ability to do better.

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  36. Or maybe that scum Alvarez.

    What a disservice was done to Pitt Football, especially considering how well the Program was doing before Chryst ruined everything by daring to take a job NO ONE else wanted.

    Damn.

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  37. Everyone with half a brain knew Potato Paulie was short term and GodFather Barry was having Pitt groom him. It would have been o.k. if Chryst was more than mediocre. Instead, Pitt got what it deserved for having Cornhole as the AD. Thanks Nerdy and BoT.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Guys…Chryst is ancient history…almost forgot about his time here……….looking for a surprise or 2 before signing day….Remember, there is always hope..Army finished in the top 25 and so has Navy in recent years with lower ranked recruiting classes than PITT..maybe it’s easier to coach up higher student athletes with high SATs……

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Sincerely asking what did happen to FRANkCAN(?).
      I might possibly be the only one on the board here who doesn’t know, though I doubt it.
      And though I respect any thought of any [Pitt] brother’s (here @POV) calling me out on the implications of his passing, — i.e. not your/my business — there’s definitely a story to be told in this BigB.
      I think about him and his very “passionate” posts from near or tad within this decade. A frequent commenter on Chaz’s Blog. And then just trailed off. Which is to say that I’m aware you’re talking about a memorializing golf tourney in his name when it’s been mentioned. But in doing so — a memorial golf tourney — can we (the readers who knew him from PittBlather) maybe have a bit of “closure” and an understanding that you (and the rest of the golf tourney bunch) hold the title’s cup in his namesake?
      I think everyone’s business to “know” about who FRANKcAN was, the interest to memorialize him, his life’s work or lack thereof. It’s be Kool to be a little more familiar with this.
      I’d appreciate this. And once more disclose that I am a Phila. Panther. So I mightn’t know the local comings and goings. But I think it’s wholly appropriate to the rest of us gathered here what his passing symbolizes to the rest.
      Advanced thanks,
      Neil
      **FOR THE EDITOR AND MAN IN OPRRATIONAL CONTROL OF THIS SITE (that’s you MM;), perhaps we can get a feel for this, as Reed — prior to reigning it in — was posting stories from us alum, whether it be 10 to 50 yrs past graduating, or affiliated, or just a plain fan. (Sone of the bios just before you took on the role, MM, were entertaining to the followers here, so perhaps you’ll allow it as “filler” again?)
      Give it a thought. But it’s not a demand by any means

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    1. Sht, thanks for the heads/up after-the-fact. I can only get so far in these hundreds of comments to learn that, “damn!, now I’m spelling it wrong!”

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  39. Gordon was referring to PN not being good enough after 4 years, and I commented that he (meaning Narduzzi) was not good enough at recruiting.

    As for Chryst, I think we all owe him thanks for taking the Pitt job after the series of coaching disasters we experienced. We will never know if given sufficient time he could have built a program equal to Whisky, but he still stabilized things at Pitt.

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  40. ^^ Actually Tx you did NOT. Maybe a month or so ago but you are surprisingly a lot more positive of late and I’ll add. You have always been fair in your critiques of PITT. A little tough on Heather at times but hey… it’s your opinions.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. I’m fine with the Beatty hire. But it strikes me what a ridiculous joke the college coaching profession is these days. These assistant coaches (and to a lesser degree the head coaches) float around like a bunch of vagabonds from job to job with loyalty only to the school that is currently paying them (and probably not much money in most cases). Some of the resumes we’ve seen show coaching stops at 6-8 schools along the way. They can’t even bring one recruit with them because they often haven’t stayed long enough to establish any ties. This is the dreadful downside of college sports today.

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    1. if you look at Beatty, the last 5 jobs he had, he wasn’t fired but the HC was and the staff was let go … at WVU, Ill, Wisc, Uva and just this past year at UM. Maybe even before that

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    2. I had a friend once who changed jobs every year for like 8 years in a row. She got a raise each time. I have no idea how she did it, but hey it worked for her

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  42. Chryst actually stabilized the program … which only shows you how unstable the Pitt HC is since he was ere for only 3 years. U can thank Smug Steve for that ,,,,

    12/7/10 DW Fired; 12/17/10 Hayward hired; 12/31/10 Hayward fired;

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Cornhole fired Wanny…the last coach since Jackie to get 10 wins and the last coach to recruit a 5 star. A proud Pitt alum and true Yinzer with a penchant for fish samiches.

    He then hired a coach who assaulted his baby’s mother and made some Freddy Kreuger analogy during his first presser. In less than 60 days, Mike ‘Haymaker’ is fired without even coaching 1 practice.

    Smiley Smug Steve then goes out and hires a Fraud who sold us some High Octane snake oil and promptly bolted after 1 year because his wife Penny had relatives in Arizona.

    After the culmination of these F-ups, a committee (basically Godfather Barry) recommended the hire of Potato Paulie, a career assistant Cheese-head at Whisky.

    Nerdy gives Cornhole a nice golden parachute after all this knowing that he’s retiring in a year and a new sheriff is coming to town.

    After 3 mediocre years, Barry decides to collect on his favor. Paulie gives Patty a bad exit interview about Stevie but Corrnhole doesnt care since Nerdball has already taken care of him.

    Another assistant, supposed defensive genius, is hired by a committee and we have a 28-24 record to show for it after 4 years along with no ranked seasons or bowl wins.

    Pitt’s new AD then extends NardDog since she owes him her job.

    Seriously people, Hollywood would have a tough time making this stuff up. For Pitt, its our pathetic reality.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I was with you until “a committee (basically Godfather Barry)” … other than being a WPa native, don’t see a Pitt connection with Alvarez. He spent his entire playing (Nebraska) and coaching (ND, Wisconsin) in the Midwest. Paulie was considered one the hot HC candidates back then because of his OC background … much as his successor

      Like

      1. so you dont think Barry had any influence on Pitt’s decision to hire Chryst? At the very least, Barry highly recommended him. At the worst,Barry called in a favor. I for one saw this hire as short term and a proving ground for Chryst. Many others also saw this way. Barry used Pitt and Pitt allowed it. Again, if wouldnt have been a bad trade-off if Chryst wasnt so mediocre. The only thing hot about Paulie at the time was his Potato head.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Cornhole was in deep doo doo. He reached out to another Nebraska Alum. That was Barry. Barry’s influence persuaded the committee and saved Steves butt. Barry called in that favor 3 years later.

              Like

    2. I’m revising my win total up to nine based on the hiring of Beatty. (And alps because my schedule post was pretty tongue in cheek).

      Totally get you are not a fan of the Duzz extension or HL’s work in general Tex, but Pitt is investing and if we can get a “bill stull jr year” type performance out of Pickett things are going to be good in 2019.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just dont see how Pitt wins 9 games in 2019. Vegas will probably say 7 and Vegas is closer to right than wrong. I see Miami and Virginia as being the teams to beat. NC and Va Tech will also be much improved. I do think that 2019 will be the year that Pitt finally wins a bowl game though. Lady Luck went with Pitt in practically every ACC game last year. So despite an easier OOC, I dont see Pitt wnning more than 8 regular season games. No Coastal title in 2019. But I bet Pitt passes for more yards than rushing and will be more consistent on offense. D should be solid but unspectacular.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. YIKES MM, with you at the helm, this sure doesn’t seem like your Father’s old Pitt POV any longer. Calling for a nine win season is optimistic with a penn state away game, UCF still on the OOC schedule & VT just itching to get some revenge for the beatdown we put on them this past season. That’s a pretty steep hill to climb,even for an optimist, & I haven’t even mentioned the Miami & UNC matchups.

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        1. Well I called six and I called nine. That puts the line at 7 and a hook, which sounds about right

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  44. According to the site Football Scoops, PITT is looking for three Graduate Assistants with on field coaching experience to fill roles for O/L, D/L, Skill positions. Since a lot of us aren’t eligible (academically qualified, within 7 years of Bachelor’s degree) maybe we can offer suggestions.

    Like

  45. College hiring and firing parallels the NFL.. get fired today and find a better paying gig tomorrow for the next year… show me how ridiculous the sports biz iz…..

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Regarding the POV golf outing – anyone know when the Spring Game date will be?

    First year we played in April the day prior to the Spring Game and last year it was June, totally separate from the Spring Game.

    Also, open to suggestions on a location. Many have traveled to the Pittsburgh area from far away (Georgia, Carolinas, Texas, central PA, northeast PA, Maryland, etc.). Will the Pittsburgh yinzers travel to play?

    Teeing it up one more time tomorrow with a client laced foursome before heading back to the cold confines of central PA.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Some of you might remember comments I have made in past blogs about my Dookie buddy Jerry McGee… his earthly work ended a few weeks ago.. one of a kind who served so well and will be missed …but he isn’t that far away… waiting in a room there on the other side… til we meet again Coach !!

    https://www.twifordfh.com/jerry-mcgee/

    Like

    1. I remember you talking about J McGee Bernie. Let’s hope there’s enough space in that room for all of us when the time comes.. and that time is in the distant future…..

      Like

    2. Sorry to hear this my friend. Sounds like he lived a rich and full life, which is a tribute in and of itself.

      Like

    1. We need ike to post the old “Have Gun: Will Travel” theme song.

      Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? Paladin, Paladin, far, far from home…

      Like

  48. We needed a new OC to put some excitement and unpredictability into our offense and to develop our QBs…Check…We needed a WR coach to teach better route running and not quitting on long passes (done twice in bowl game by our WRs), and provide some recruiting help…Check…There is no guarantee of success, but the correct boxes were checked with these hires.

    Liked by 7 people

  49. Lastrow and MajorM, I’m pretty sure Richard Boone is the answer of a pretty cool trivia question. Who is the last man to be killed by John Wayne. The film was The Shootist

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Richard Boone (as Grimes in “Hombre”; his pot marks glistening in the sun, serving as little saucers to his sweat) to Paul Newman (as John Russell blue-eyed, perfect skin)…

    Grimes: “Now, what do you suppose Hell is gonna look like?’

    JR: “We all gotta die; it’s only a matter of when.”

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Florida College Recruiting Legend Larry Bluestein comparing OC Mark Whipple at Pitt versus his time as HC at Massachusetts.

    “He has a better line, really good receivers and definitely a better class of running backs. You’ll see him flourish at Pitt.” – Bluestein

    Harry Psaros @PittGuru

    Like

  52. UMass TE had about 30 catches in 2018. Not sure that makes the TE fans out there happy, LOL.

    I could care less. I’d rather see the field spread out with fast WR.

    Like

    1. I agree. It’s a safe bet that Whipple will play to our strengths…whatever he finds them to be. If he finds a TE on the roster that can give us a matchup advantage, I bet we will see him used.

      Fwiw Ordonff had 27 receipts under Canada I believe. That’s 2+ receptions per game which I’d think would keep everyone happy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Both were 6-6 coaches
        I dont begrudge Chryst for leaving
        I do think Pitt was stupid for allowing Chryst to train on the job for the Whisky position for 3 years
        Remember Barry got Chryst hired. Barry then told Chryst to stay after Beilma left. After Anderson left, Barry reached out and called in his favor. He said Chryst was now ready.
        Why did Pitt allow Barry to use them as a proving ground?
        At the very least, Pitt should have been compensated

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Pedersen couldn’t hire a coach on his own and somebody needed to help him. You are welcome to your view Tx, but I think that Barry did us a solid by making the call and selling him to Pitt. Chryst walked into a festering cesspool of issues and got the program headed in a better direction. The prgoram is better off for having had Chryst here. And he helped get Smiling Steve canned. And Pitt deserves compensation for that? Come on, man….

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Pitt could have found a better coach than Chryst in retrospect that would have stayed more than 3 years.

            Chryst was a mediocre game day coach.
            6 wins was his max
            His recruiting was also mediocre except for the line

            If Pitt was so interested in stability, why did Pitt allow him to leave after just 3 years?
            Fraud was actually the one that quickly stabilized a program that hired a wife beater. The program could have quickly fallen apart.

            My point is that there are plenty of coaches out there that would have gotten the same results. And plenty more that would have gotten better which Pitt would have extended.

            Chryst was never interested in Pitt other than the free on the job training.

            So why did Pitt hire him when they knew this?

            One thing I respect about Narduzzi is that he does want to be here at Pitt.

            Chryst was no savior of the Pitt program. The stability argument is over-rated when the avg tenure of a coach is only 5 years. Chryst continued the stable tradition of mediocrity.

            What has changed since Chryst is the budget. Pitt is no longer cheap. This allows them to hire better assistants and retain them. Thats the game changer for the stability argument.

            The coach that really saved Pitt football was Walt. Pitt was so close to dropping down a level back in the mid 90’s after the failed Back to the Future experiment. Walt came in and Pitt immediately went to a bowl game. He left when Pitt made the Fiesta Bowl. 8 years of fun and respectable football. He set the stage for Wanny.

            Liked by 1 person

  53. Reading through the comments after the article wwb posted about 50% of the Terp commenters seemed to like Beatty and thought he was a good recruiter.

    Like

    1. Seems to me that the vast majority of the TEs in the NFL who are “stars,” are actually big wide receivers. A guy like Kelce does little blocking.

      The idea seems to be to get a tall guy who can run decent and who has good hands and get him matched up against smaller safeties or tweener LBs. Jessie James has made a career out of being tall and able to catch.

      We seem to be recruiting tall TEs, but can they run well enough and how are their hands. Since we never tried a pass to Carrigan or Van Lynn, we don’t know – but we can make a pretty good guess.

      I’m rooting for Kaymar Mimes, the converted DE, to be the guy, but that’s just hope speaking. Maybe Mr. Whipple can make better use of Gragg, who seems more to fit the big receiver mold… Or dark-horse Jim Medure may surprise everyone but Erie… 😊

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  54. Pretty happy about Beatty’s recruiting chops, just what the Dr. ordered. Also a very experienced guy. So both new guys have been around the block. They obviously have their work cut out for them. However, when you start at the bottom (passing game) it shouldn’t be that hard to show some improvement. Will be pretty tough to match last years running game.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. Luke Getsy lasted as OC at Miss St for one year before returning to Green Bay to coach Aaron Rogers (QB Coach). He was previously offensive QC coach at Green Bay. According to USA Today database, Getsy was paid $600k in his first year as MSU OC. Miss St was ranked 71st in total offense in 2018 but it was a new offensive system. (note that previous PSU OC Joe Moorehead is the HC — he was the one who implemented PSU’s offense back in 2015)

    Like

  56. Chryst is a really good offensive coach. He is not a leader. From a Joe Starkey article when Chryst left Pitt…..

    But what about the way Graham left? I wondered whether there was a big difference between his departure and that of Paul Chryst (he came next, after Keith Patterson coached a Compass Bowl; email me if you’d like the pie chart).

    “I’ll be completely honest about this: Coach Chryst never called me, and Coach Chryst did not have a team meeting where he said he was leaving, and Coach Chryst never texted us (as a team),” Rowell said. “Coach Graham texted us.”

    Artie Rowell was a team leader and well respected. To me, his statement says a lot about Chryst’s character or lack there of.

    Like

  57. Speaking of Paladin,,most of grew up in the days of watching westerns( what great times to be a kid)..One year Santa brought me a great set of “Fanner 50 pistols” one..damn, they had actions like the real thing..collectors items..I don’t have one toy from when I was little…much like the Toy Story movie, my stuff musta got tossed or younger brothers broke it….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Getting rid of Cornhole helped stabilize athletics at Pitt.

      Pitt now providing the funds for a competitive budget helped stabilize things as well.

      In theory, those 2 things should help Pitt break the cycle of mediocrity.

      And most importantly of all, being in the ACC where Pitt receives a check each year in excess of $30M

      Like

  58. I was lucky to get one toy for Christmas from my family. (a tonka truck).. but Patsy’s boss would always buy me the biggest toy ever… One year I remember it was a remote controlled tank the size of a large dog. I must have done something wrong at some point soon after and it was taken off of me. Ahh those childhood memories are so bitter sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We would have to win first. The pupil going up against the master and badly under gunned.

      I got a feeling that Coach K has been working on the zone D this week.

      Like

  59. Ike, I got a pretty cool battery powered tank for Christmas when I was about 5 but the game changer was a few years later when I got a bicycle. That started my love affair with 2 wheeled vehicles. Haha. Sold my Harley Fat Boy 10 years ago and am sorry that I did.

    Like

  60. Richman is busy watching reruns of that video. He will get back to us next month.

    Meantime.. would really like to know if Whipple had any input into the WR hire? Carrying that thought a little further…. did Heather have any input in the Whipple hire?

    Liked by 2 people

  61. I noticed Reed’s post raising the poor offensive stats for the Terps last year. What I thought was interesting about that post (and BTW I am a HUGE Reed supporter and credit him for creating the best college football blog in America) is that it fails to mention Beatty’s recruiting rep. Meanwhile Reed has correctly identified recruiting as HCPN’s biggest failure. Seems like this hire addresses this weakness, no?

    I love the hire for 2 reasons. Recruiting (see above) and his experience as an OC. Whipple is not a spring chicken, and clearly not a recruiter. If this hire turns the WR corp around I could see HCPN creating an OC succession plan. Wouldn’t that be something new, Pitt thinking a few steps ahead?

    Gipson, French, and Mack are, IMHO a good starting point for a greatly improved WR corps. Matthews is a mystery to me, a great open field blocker but can never seem to find his way as a receiver.

    I did want to point out something about the Pats victory, that I think Pitt can learn from. Where did the 3rd and long passes always go . . . . . yep down the middle with the QB reading the safety. I think I can count on 1 hand the number of times Watson called a crossing pattern down the middle, even though Pitt’s running game always forced the opposing LBs to respect the run.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. #1 Rule in posting anything about College Football. NEVER make a comparison between the NCAA and the NFL.

    There simply is no comparison.

    Except maybe for the fact that both Balls have points on each end and strings in the middle.

    Like

  63. Now for something more important and pending. Does Pitt have even the slightest CHANCE against Duke?

    Well, of course they do.

    For one, these Kids have NEVER been coached like they’re now being coached by Capel and his Staff. You can bet the learning curve is STEEP. It’s just about this part of the Season where things start to SINK IN!

    Secondly, Capel is the one Coach who has INSIDE knowledge on Duke’s strengths and weaknesses… and they obviously have both. Every Team does.

    Like

  64. Tex, you made a good point that the FB budget was much less when Chryst was hired. Pitt has mostly tried to save a buck with its coaching hires over the years, and Chryst might have bee as good as it gets given the budget limitations.

    I’m guessing that Whipple screamed out a big OMG when he saw the TE situation. They are probably scanning the JUCO and Sr transfer options as we speak!

    Like

    1. as of last week, here are the undecided TEs on the Transfer Portal

      Austin Dorris, Indiana
      Lou Dorsey, Illinois
      Branden Hohenstein, Nebraska
      Eli Wolf, Tennessee

      Like

  65. 3 TES from the Big 10. My money is on us landing one of them, possibly the one from Indiana if he has a relationship with Taysir Mack.

    Like

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