Pitt Football added three staffers recently.  You’ll never read about these guys in the Post Gazette, or hear about them in a postgame interview, but they’ll be important to the day to day operations of the program.

Pitt Staffers

At first, I assumed we were just poaching talent from less-well resourced programs, and to some degree that may be true, but a social media contact encouraged me to look deeper, and so I did.

First off, looks like our new recruiting coordinator is a good ‘ol Western Pennsylvania boy, with ties to one of the best programs in the area:

Adam Caltury is in his third season on the Rutgers football staff. Caltury was elevated to director of player personnel in 2018 after spending his first two seasons as director of recruiting.
In his role, Caltury oversees all aspects of the program’s recruiting efforts, including prospect evaluation, on-campus visits, planning logistics as well as communication and outreach to prospects.
 
Caltury spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons at Ohio State, working as a recruiting assistant. Prior to joining the Buckeyes’ staff, he served as offensive coordinator at Central Valley High School in Pennsylvania.
Caltury graduated from Monaca High School in 2008 where he began his coaching career as the quarterbacks and wide receivers coach for two seasons. In 2010, he joined the staff at Central Valley serving as the wide receivers coach for three seasons before being promoted to offensive coordinator in 2013.
Caltury and his wife Erica are natives of Pittsburgh, Pa., and both graduated from Slippery Rock. 
Caltury also sports a great beard.
Caltury_Adam
Secondly it looks like our new Creative Media Director is a good ‘ol eastern Ohio boy and grew up just a few hours from Pittsburgh.

Taylor Wilhelm is in his fourth season as director of new media for the Iowa State football program. Wilhelm is spearheading the program’s efforts in creating graphics and videos for social media and recruiting.

Wilhelm also helps produce graphics for branding and promotions of the program. 

A native of Greenwich, Ohio, Wilhelm was a video graduate assistant at Toledo in 2015. He was responsible for created graphics/flyers for social media and recruiting purposes, as well as managing social media for the football program.

Wilhelm was a member of the Malone (OH) University football team for four years, earning All-GLIAC Academic honors. He was the recipient of the John Thomas Unsung Hero Award at the school.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting/business administration at Malone University (Canton, Ohio) in 2015.

Taylor Wilhelm

I like his style

Cyclone Football

Iowa State Happy Birthday

I believe this to be some of Wilhelm’s first work at Pitt, and it’s a good look:

cathedral

 

Lastly our new Assistant Director of Football Operations spent some time down in Big B’s backyard, but is more or less coming home to the Northeast.  Given all the recruiting we do in New Jersey I’m sure he’ll be able to get back there now and again.

John Ford, Jr. is entering his fourth season on the Demon Deacon staff in 2018 and first season as the Associate Director of Football Operations.

Ford’s primary responsibilities are providing assistance for coordination of team travel, team meals, player housing, and assisting in game day operations of the team. He also assists in recruiting operations such as recruiting events, summer camps, clinics, special events, organizing community service and all aspects of day-to-day football operations.

Ford came to Wake Forest from Rutgers where he was an Operations and Video assistant for two seasons, assisting in the day-to-day and game day operations of the team, along with editing practice film, game footage and opponent footage. Ford also, assisted the coaching staff in game preparation and analysis.

Ford graduated from Rutgers in 2013 with a degree in communications where he worked as a student video and recruiting assistant as an undergrad. Ford earned a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Wake Forest in 2018. 

A native of Piscataway, N.J., Ford lettered in football and basketball in high school.   Ford Lettered in football and basketball in high school.

John Ford

Welcome to Pitt everybody.  Rebuilding the fence around WPA starts now.

 

149 thoughts on “Building the Fence

  1. you can make the case that the 3 most celebrated (and loyal) behind the scenes personnel at Pitt are locals

    — Bob Junko (Washington PA) Director of Player Development FB

    — Chris LaScala (Aliquippa) Associate AD FB Operations

    — EJ Borghetti (Neshannock) Director of Sports Media Relations

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Nice article, MM. Appreciate the excavation work you did.

    However, I can readily see that Pitt missed the boat on at least one of these hires.

    Here’s a reminder of what it says about Ford. As you read this again, tell me if any POVers come to mind…

    “Ford’s primary responsibilities are providing assistance for coordination of team travel, team meals, player housing, and assisting in game day operations of the team. He also assists in recruiting operations such as recruiting events, summer camps, clinics, special events, organizing community service and all aspects of day-to-day football operations.”

    Who’s skills as coordinators and dedicated Pitt fans does that describe perfectly?

    Of course, it’s Lastrow! Or, of course, it’s Erie Express!

    Mr. Ford should see Lastrow and Erie Express for some pointers!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. In the comments for the previous article, there was discussion about Pitt needing somewhere in the vicinity of 9 or 10 acres of land to construct an on-campus stadium.

    Well, I have stumbled across the crux of the problem. Pitt has a person who’s title is:
    “Executive Associate Athletic Director for Capital Planning & Projects and Facility & Event Operations.”

    His name – and I kid you not – is Brendan Fouracre!

    You read that correctly. Everyone knows that when you need ten acres, four acres won’t do. 😊

    Here’s part of Brendan Fouracre’s bio from when he was hired:

    “Fouracre will be a key member of the Director of Athletics’ Executive team and will provide strong vision, leadership, management, coordination, and oversight of all initiatives related to athletic strategies, venues, events, and branding. He will be responsible for all department capital planning and projects; facility and event management and operations; strategic planning; …and will serve as a liaison to the University facilities department and SMG (venue management group). Fouracre’s purview also will include developing effective and collaborative relationships with University leadership and personnel, athletic partners, and athletic department staff and coaches.”

    This is interesting:
    “Prior to joining Pitt, Fouracre served the University of Cincinnati as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for capital projects, facilities and operations where he was a key member of the athletic director’s executive team. During that tenure, he directed facilities projects totaling over $190 million including an $86 million football stadium renovation and expansion, an $87 million basketball arena renovation, a $15 million football indoor practice facility and lacrosse stadium project, and upgrades to baseball and soccer stadiums.”

    Prior to Cincy, he worked at LSU.

    TX – you need to call this guy!

    FOURACRE! You can’t make this stuff up!

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 7 people

          1. “I got a line on you”. Spirit had the only Father son band team in the history of rock and roll. Plus the best lead guitar player name “Randy California”

            Liked by 2 people

  4. From the looks of his wife, I would say Kaiser done good. << That’s what jimmie “one finger” said.

    Still think Narduzzi is building back the PITT football program from the shambles it once was not to long ago. PC did a good enough job starting it as well.

    Build The new PITT stadium and the transit/light rail will makes it’s way out there. What happened to the big project that was being planned for Bates St including a T-Station?

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Just noticed the “pointy” chin on the cartoon Cathedral Cat…am I supposed to be envisioning an “upside down ” arch…..???? just askin”

    Like

  6. This is the best staff Narduzzi has had imo. He has had some trial and error with guys like conklin and watson. But I like the new hires and think he’s learning How he needs to hire to take the next steps as a program. I am anxious to see the dynamics between narddogg and whipple if whipple tries to air it out a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As long as we are scoring points I don’t think he will care. Canada aired it out plenty, never says any (visible) friction between them. Now Chaney on the other hand…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah the Cheney situation is exactly what I was thinking of. Narduzzi regularly got on him that season. I wonder what the explanation for all of that was. They just didn’t seem to mesh well. I wonder if Narduzzi Learned anything from all of that

        Like

        1. The same thing happened at UGA though less publicly. He was run of out Athens on a rail this offseason (even though his offenses were pretty good)

          Like

  7. Fouracre…cool name…almost sounds Native American…..my Dad used to say ” when the white man landed on these shores he found a land where the women did all the work and the men hunted and fished all the time…and the white man has been trying to improve upon that system ever since that day. Fouracre x’s 2…time to improve on our current FB stadium system…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shoot man your dad was onto something. I’ll trade this rat race to go back to a land where I could live in a tent and hunt and fish all the time. Or course there was no Pitt football so I guess there are some trade offs

      Liked by 1 person

  8. If the new recruiting guy has ex-PSU’s QB Tommy Steven’s phone number he should use it ASAP. We need honest QB competition with a talented and experienced QB pool.

    Other than Pickett and George ( who I don’t think has a shot at being Pitt’s guy as a starter) then Stevens would make it good addition to the QB room.

    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/tommy-stevens-1.html#all_passing

    And I don’t care one bit if he was a Nitter. At this point we are rolling the dice with a returning QB who pretty much failed in his first season and is a question mark going forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reed – one thing I learned at the spring game is that Jeff George Jr. has a really nice arm. Had zip on his passes during warm-ups and completed a couple of nice down field throws during the game.

      What’s still unknown about JGJ are the rest of the skills a QB needs, like reading the defense, making good, quick decisions and handling the blitz…

      And KP also looked good after a slow start.

      You seem down on the QBs. I’m optimistic that the investment in playing time for KP, combined with the Coaching of Mr. Whipple, is going to pay off this season.

      I guess only time will tell.

      Go Pitt.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. One other thing about Pickett – I really believe was hamstrung by Watson’s narrow vision for TE’s and RBs. Im expecting he will improve this year, even with the OL being a question mark (again). The kid is poised has a good arm and now has a real QB coach/OC. How much he improves is the question.

      Like

      1. He’s got the physical talent … we won the duke game on a 40 yard pumping bomb that came from his arm. The problem is between the ears. If he can get his sports psychology on point he could be dangerous

        Like

  9. Just listened to peak’s podcast. He was saying how improved spring recruiting has been compared to previous years. He believes that coach Beatty is a big part of that. He has gotten a ton of kids from the Virginia area on campus already.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Speaking of building the fence…just saw an article on PSN about how PSU offered a Pitt target from Pittsburgh Dayon Hays.

    The BEST PART of this is this little gem:.

    “My reaction when Penn State offered was definitely different,” Hayes told Pittsburgh Sports Now. “ I woke up and I saw Coach Smith had texted me and said call him. So I called him we were just talking about how Penn State is just different from others school and they want me to be the hometown hero and stay in Pennsylvania.”

    So first off, I comment Dayon for saying “My reaction was different” Different can mean a lot of things. Different could be his politically correct saying of “i was actually laughing so loud in my head I could hardly hear what he was saying” or it could mean “hey I’m thinking about it”

    If his reaction was the latter, I’d just like to say this:

    Dayon on behlalf of Pitt, I just want to point out that coach Smith is right. Penn State is different from other schools. First it’s surrounded by cow pastures. A lot of other schools that are recruiting you are not. Think long and hard about that. Also the main feature of Penn State is an ice cream shop. Exciting! I mean we all love creamery fresh ice cream right?! Also, from what I understand the showering environment is quite different at Penn State as well. Penn State has an extremely strong “tradition” of protecting the wrong people doing the wrong things from what I hear.

    And yes Dayon, you can be a hometown hero, in your “hometown” of state college which is exactly 140 miles from your actual hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

    Hail to PItt “We Aren’t!”

    Liked by 7 people

  11. We cured polio…they have a really nice rye grass mix.

    Ike, thanks for Spirit…love em.
    Saw them at Pitt around 1970. I think with Vanilla Fudge.
    Don’t forget “I got a line on you”. Great tune.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. MM..the indigenous people invented what we call modern day lacrosse…great sport in the ACC minus PITT..

    When we were in Buffalo for the Frozen 4, we witnessed the NCAA women’s rugby tournament..it was total kick-ass, take no prisoners competition…I don’t know their 40 speeds or vertical but talk about fearless physical contact..KAPOW!!!!!! Another great sport……..

    Like

    1. Rutgby is another good sport
      i’m still not down with all the rules but if you like football, you’ll like rugby
      and the English version not Aussie rules

      Like

  13. Jeff George had a great arm..He QB’d for 8 different NFL teams being drafted in 1990 by the Colts where he had only one winning season..lost 35 of his 49 starts for the Colts. He refused to report to training camp in 1993. In the 1992 season he played 10 games throwing for 7 TDs with 15 INTs……sounds like one of my therapist’s who in the 2nd year on the job asked for a raise-the person was dead last in productivity on the team…..so much for having a great arm…what we need are more Billy Kilmers …and Fruitcakes……

    Like

  14. Love the positive vibe coming across the POV lately: Administration buying in on “the front porch” value of the football program, the step up in talent among the assistant coaches, and the intense, seemingly open competition at football camp.

    But come on guys, when talking Spirit there is only one song: “I got a line on you.”

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I was at the Wake game and Kenny has the ability with Patti and George in the wing..Belville red-shirts…..don’t know what the Nit QB had going on at PSU to abruptly leave..I would guess/hope our staff is evaluating him but if I am looking forward from a realistic perspective I would only look at a proven QB…a QB like Russell Wilson, who was a PLAYER at NCSU, getting a 5th year is a no brainer, otherwise, I would tend to stay away from transfer QBs and work with the men I brought in but that is my opinion…Team chemistry is so darn important …KP has leadership abilities..he may or may not have a solid year but in that Wake game he was the man, hopefully, that is who we see on a consistent basis in ’19. ..new OC in place with lots to learn and teach…how many QBs do we need on roster?…PSU and QBs- how well have they done developing talent at the QB position historically?? Nit QBs have been blessed with a strong supporting cast over the years…We shall see…Coaching, play calling, weak pass blocking, holding on to the ball to long, inconsistent accuracy issue , no TE and wide-outs who couldn’t get separation all contributed to the abysmal passing game last year, very few passes to backs, can’t recall a scrren pass all year, oops forgot about the delay pass to our OT in the Wake game which set-up like a screen which ended our centers season….how much of it is due to talent/recruiting vs coaching is the million dollar question….H2P and Arches…

    Like

  16. PoD..the POINTED kitty chin could come from that seal..looks a bit like a board that I have some of my whitetails mounted on…I think the university seal changed to the one you posted-occurred sometime in the 70,s…don’t think Nike was involved with that change…

    Like

  17. I guess the castle like structure on the seal is the PGH jail…if so, that building should be replaced with the Cathedral..just a thought..

    Like

      1. That part of the seal harkens back to the original four buildings of the Oakland campus designed by Henry Hornbostel in the Beaux-arts style. It has been part of the seal since before the CoL was built.

        Like

  18. Well, Stevens played behind one of the best college QBs over the last three years so it isn’t like he was 2nd string to crap QBs.

    And it would take exactly one day for the team to accept him if he transferred in. The. “Rivalry ” is far more important in fan’s minds then the staff’s or players’.

    I have like George since he came to Pitt. If you remember I said he’d be QB2 as soon as he had any sort of handle on the playbook which took about three weeks.

    We haven’t had a true QB competition in years at Pitt and that’s too bad…and naming Pickett the starter (along with a kid who has done absolutely nothing in Paris Ford) just ticks kids off and shrinks the talent pool.

    If you want to know what really fractures locker rooms…it isn’t what school a kid transfers from but players being named starters when they transfer in or don’t have to compete for the spot. How do you think the other Safeties and CBs feel when they did all the hard work, played already and never were disciplined by the staff yet a kid who was suspended from competition multiple times is named the starter before fall camp?

    No competition is exactly what happened two years ago also when Max Browne was anointed starter right away in January when he arrived…and remained so even after DiNucci outplayed him in fall camp.

    I feel this is one of Narduzzi’s problems and coupled with too many transfers weakens the team.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Reed – one of the points you’ve made in the past – and it’s a good one – is that there are no “stars” among Narduzzi’s recruits. . Well, in the spring game, one guy who played like a star was Paris Ford.

      Ford had a big hit on one play, saved a TD with a tackle at the 3 on another play, had 5 other tackles and an INT.

      I congratulated him after the game and he was very humble – “just trying to do my best…”

      Sure it was only a spring game… Maybe Ford can really play like a 4-star… Maybe the other players realize, like the coaches, that Paris can play better than them.

      Has Stocker impressed you?What if Stocker is named the starter and everyone knows Ford is better. What does that do for the morale?

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  19. That’s a cool opinion Reed. And if KP falls on his face or otherwise fails to live up to expectations in the first three games, I will flip my position, buy you a beer, and drink down a huge dose of “I was wrong”. And who knows, maybe Whipple and Narduzzi secretly think that KP doesn’t have the juice to win 9 games this year and they’ll go behind their anointed starter’s back and bring in a guy to take his job. That would certainly fulfill your low expectations of Pat Narduzzi (not meant as an attack; you’ve been pretty public in your dislike for him and your dislike for how he generally handles his affairs.) But I doubt it. Whipple knows quarterbacks, and if he had even an ounce of doubt the Pickett could get the job done, he wouldn’t have anointed him on day 1 of spring camp to begin with. So yea man, go with your gut and what you saw out of Shawn Watson’s 8th grade passing offense last year. Should be a real good indicator. Me, I’ll go with the opinion of somebody who actually watches practice and tape and has been doing this for a very long time. #Trusttheprocess

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow…just go back to this time last year and fall camp and read what PN said about Pickett and then anointing him starter in the fall. Did he in anyway live up to anyone’s expectations?

      Watson’s offense was simple but still KP made poor decisions and throws…as did some WRs when running routes. That is excuse making and three games with under 62 yards passing wasn’t the OC’s fault…not when KP averaged 16 attempts in those three games.

      94th in Passing yards per game; 92nd in ypc and 90th in passing efficiency and 81st in passing yards and a grand total of zero (0) TD passes in the last three games -all losses….so I agree in part, no where to go but up (fingers crossed).

      I hope KP lives up to expectations and remember I was singing his praises in public print literally before anyone else so I very much like the kid…but lets not make excuses for his play last year – he alone owns that.

      And since when is Whipple any sort of a coach anyone would consider more than average? Gee – forget about the 16-44 record he has as a. D1 HC. Fans are singing his praises for his Atlantic 10 passing offenses but lets not forget he’s the OC for the run game also.

      102nd, 99th, 124th, 102nd and 112th in rushing. In P5 play if you can’t run the ball you lose games no matter how well you pass.

      We’ll see come fall but just remember Pitt fans were super high on Watson when hired given his work at Louisville and TX…

      But I don’t think our offense this year will have near the same level of talent we did last year on the OL (in run blocking) or in the backfield and that might hurt.

      As always I’ll believe a great Pitt passing game when I see it in the fall. Until then it is the same old story for every single new coordinator hire we hire.

      Like

        1. I agree with the somewhat opposing, thoughtful points above (by Reed & Michaelangelo), makes for good discussion. I guess where I’m at is KP has only played one year thus far though and has all the tools, so if he has truly progressed and is our best QB then I have no problem in him being declared starter, and frankly our biggest reason for (unproven) hope is Whipple, and I think most of us know that. The concern with KP is decision making of course, and I’m not a big believer that this area tends to improve a lot with QBs, but the one caveat here is that KP (& the whole offense for that matter) did not appear to be put in a good position (to succeed) last year, so there’s at least a decent chance that we didn’t get a very good chance to evaluate him up to this point.

          One area where Narduzzi inherited no depth due to a string of multiple years of poor recruiting is the QB position, and frankly he’s done a nice job of quietly adding talent to this position, including stealing some veteran experience in George, so although grabbing another QB for competition isn’t a bad idea, I’m not really concerned about it any more, especially relative to any of our past 5+ years.

          Like

  20. As for Paris Ford, I think you have more of a point. He was not exactly a model citizen last year. Yet he was named the starter. Must make the guys who played by the rules and put in the work feel like crap. But hey, I didn’t see Jay stocker (or any other safties) making 7 tackles and an INT in the spring game. By all accounts Ford has applied himself to his studies, to the playbook and the film room, and earned redemption. You are entitled to your opinion that Ford is getting preferred treatment, but again, I’m going to trust the process here. And if I’m wrong, then I guess I’ll owe you two beers in the fall. Cheers mate!

    Liked by 3 people

  21. I take a different POV from Reed about he QBs. If you believe that George can be good (which some but of course not all do) and has had a chance with Whipple’s system during the spring, then I think there is plenty of competition in the QB room already. Besides, I hope, and think that Nardog and possibly Whipple see Beville as the long-term solution. Having 5 QBs in the room just sounds like over-kill.

    Back to the article, its of course impossible to evaluate whether the individuals are good hires or not considering that we don’t know these guys from a “cake of soap” but on its surface its hard to take a football program seriously if doesn’t have a recruiting coordinator and in today’s day and time, having someone in charge of social media, supplementing the recruiting effort is a no-brainer.

    Also, its hard not to Lyke the signals this sends to the fan base and the staff regarding the support they are getting. Lets hope we get lucky and they are good at what they do.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Tommy Stevens left PSU because he couldn’t get a guarantee that he would be the starter. This is his 5th and final year.

    No doubt he will be seeking any school that would provide him such a guarantee. He is from Indianapolis but his priority is not the Midwest but being the starter. Being a starter at a place like Purdue or Indiana, etc would only be icing. Even if he ends up at Ball St or Western Kentucky, that would be fine for him … as long as he starts

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Paris Ford is moving towards his third year at PITT. Isn’t a four star player suppose to become a starter by now? Narduzzi just can’t win sometimes.

    Like

  24. Yinz guys are nuts.
    Three people, none of us know, were hired into positions we didn’t even know existed and now mediocre No bowl wins Pat has resurrected the program from the ashes.
    And, we shouldn’t bring in as much talent as possible because that could ruffle the feathers of a QB was was, by and large, dreadful last year.
    I have no doubt Alabama and Clemson believe they have already stockpiled enough talent on their rosters that for the next few years, they will only take 3-stars and projects…oh, like we have done since mediocre 7-7 got trounced by the Nits Pat started recruiting his own players.
    Zoiks!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. You can’t complain about a lack of star power on the team and then when a player with true star power is named a starter … which it also sounds like it was well earned with the most improved award … and capped off with his spring game performance … turn around and question the decision. Seriously, laughable. Smh.

    Plus, it sounds like Paris is a very popular player on the team. I highly doubt anyone is very discouraged. The kids he leaped are older, anyways. Sometimes you have to gamble on potential.

    I suggest reading Chris Peak’s 1-2-3 article this week. The recruiting was excellent and one of the themes the recruits commented on was the family atmosphere at Pitt … Not one of jealous teammates angry over a popular and talented kid on the team being named a starter.

    If anyone is looking for an impartial and open minded critique of Pitt football after the spring, this is a good read. Peak speaks the truth and is not afraid to criticize the program when necessary. He’ll also give it props when they are earned … and it sounds like Pitt earned some props this spring.

    https://pittsburgh.rivals.com/news/the-3-2-1-column-mood-swings-recruiting-the-spring-game-and-more

    Liked by 7 people

      1. He does the free 1-2-3 article every weekend I believe. Most are really well done … I should probably subscribe. Haha.

        Like

    1. Oh yes, we can complain about Ford being named a starter and a select few will always complain about something, and yeah it’s nuts, probably a good indication it’s time to step away from the keyboard. I still remember when I was complaining about Avonte Maddox starting again his senior year after getting completely toasted the entire year prior in the most dreadful pass defending I can ever remember for our team, and look at Maddox now; one of the many times I was wrong

      Like

  26. As I continue to say … nothing matters here, only what happens on the field does.

    Last year at this time …. (a) people would have scoffed at anyone suggesting Pitt would win the Coastal and (b) people would have scoffed anyone suggested that Pitt finished .500 and many were disappointed

    Liked by 3 people

  27. Hey Big B, I played rugby for about 20 years and I can still walk. It is a great game. I miss it.
    I played with lawyers, attorneys, cops, doctors, and all other types of professions. It came down to that we loved the game and even more important, we loved the party afterwards. Rugby is the only sport where you try and kill the other guy on the field and about an hour later you are singing and hugging in a bond of friendship. He who sheds his blood with me shall be our brother.
    Anyway,…our team motto was “we may lose the game, but we will win the party every time”, and we did. In fact that is where my email address originated. I can tell you the story sometime.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. We heard from Reed ad nauseum that there was unrest in the locker room because of Narduzzi. That was inaccurate and the locker room seems to be very solid. Just look how few transfers we had last year compared to other schools. And I wouldn’t have blamed any of the receivers for tight ends for leaving .

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, that locker room story was just that, a story. If you read about transfers on here you’d think Pitt is the only school that has them and it was the end of the world. Just like when there are disciplinary issues all of a sudden the coach is losing control and the BoT won’t put up with it, so it is time to fire the coach for a kid being a jerk and ruining his shot at an education.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. As nauseum?

      And where did we see the players singing in harmony?

      Was it the last three games when we got taken to the woodshed by two teams and beaten by a third?

      Just because there isn’t mass defections doesn’t mean things are perfect.

      Teams that are in complete solidarity usually don’t play sub-500 ball over two seasons…unless there is a marked lack of talent on the roster which you guys refuse to believe…or that the HC is an average at best coach but you don’t believe that either.

      So- was losing qr games over two years just coincidence?

      Like

  29. It’s perfectly great to be critical of Narduzzi, he certainly deserves it. He hasn’t been perfect in his first go round as a P-5 college head football coach, very far far from it. It’s when it’s a constant negative take on what he has done, leaving out any positives, it actually takes away objectivity in my opinion.

    Like

    1. Ike the 100% negative posters lose all credibility in my book and I really don’t take them that seriously. It’s like the major homers like harry psaros the other way. The reality is there is both good and bad with Pitt football now. When people are completely slanted one way or the other I just can’t take them seriously .

      Like

          1. Fair enough Tx, I think you’re a little over % wise but……. he does have hairy arms, gorilla calf’s and came off as a pompous ass his first couple years. How’s that? 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        1. I think u are more homer than most but I really don’t think you’re in the same stratosphere as psaros. Most of the time u are defending Narduzzi from the ridiculous attacks by some on here.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Remember PittMan, I’m only about 70% negative
        It does appear that there is something different with recruiting this Spring…in a good way

        Like

        1. Tx I really like u but I would think u are a little higher than 70%! But U clearly don’t despise Narduzzi like some on here. I would say u despise his recruiting in general.

          Liked by 1 person

  30. These hires are a very positive development for Pitt Football. It means someone actually has addressed our recruiting problem, found a solution and is fixing it. That alone with this BOT is a minor miracle!

    Like

    1. Very strange and it’s comical every time Pitt loses a recruit people write “Maybe Capel didn’t want him” or “He obviously got paid by that coach to go there.”

      If this staff misses on Sy, I can’t see how next season can be much better, which would mean a fourth-consecutive losing season. I know I’m sick of losing seasons in hoops already (thanks again, Gallagher).

      I don’t see Pitt linked to any grad transfer bigs either.

      Like

      1. For me, I dislyke losing period. Whether it be games or recruits or in business.

        But not having the barn door shut on Calibauly (sp) is a major concern. I know he is a 6’8” F, but we don’t have but one other player who is taller.

        My goodness it is amazingly painful to see how quickly and how far this program has fallen.

        Not even Duke’s best big man recruiter can have success at Pitt (yet).

        Quick turnaround? Who said that?

        Like

        1. Yeah, people keep saying Pitt has Coulibay coming in as a big but he is going to be a freshman and doesn’t have the strength to mix it up down low in the ACC just yet.

          I hate seeing how NC State might land the grad transfer big, Smits.

          I thought for sure Pitt would land the JuCo who picked Tulsa yesterday and along with Sy would give the team two 240 pounders down low to rebound and rim protect. So much for that. If next year’s team has Toney at the four spot again then this staff failed.

          Like

          1. Actually, Coulibaly has a very solid body and a mature game for a freshman as well, which is not typical of bigs. It remains to be seen as to how that will translate, because he’s a young big, but your comments above make me wonder if you’ve watched him play at all or at least read any write-ups.

            Like

            1. I’ve watched video and reminds me of a Derrick Coleman type, but like most freshmen he needs upper-body strength before making a real impact in the ACC.

              Like

    2. the last legit center Pitt BB has procured was Stephen Adams and he lasted one year. Since then, power forwards Talib Zanna, Michael Young, K Chakwua and T Brown manned the position with various degrees of success … with occasional assistance by a few JUCO and grad transfers who didn’t offer much .

      Whether it FB or BB, Pitt never seems anymore to recruit a balanced team. Chryst was defensive recruit challenged, Narduzzi is OL/TE challenged, and Stallings completely challenged.

      There are still a couple big men out there for Capel to pull in … keep you fingers crossed (using both hands)

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Lololol. Do people really think we lost a player to Tulsa?

    He ended up at Tulsa. If he was a “big” loss don’t you think he would have at least ended up at a P5 school? C’mon.
    You don’t need a center any more. You do need shooters, however.
    Anyone expecting a quick turnaround is delusional. We hired a guy who hadn’t been an HC in 8 years. No matter how good a recruiter he is it wasn’t happening over night.
    Wait until 2020. These are the kids they’ll have been working for 2+ years. Recruiting starts early.
    The team has some graduation year balance going into next season.
    This team could be special the Junior and senior years for McGowens and Xavier.
    No matter what X may want to do, he won’t be leaving school early for the NBA.
    Anyone tired of losing … Too bad. That’s what happens when you start from scratch. We hired Jeff Capel not Harry Potter. No magic at hand.

    Like

    1. Texas Tech lost five of its top seven players last year and ended up in the title game by adding players via the grad transfer route. Rebuilding isn’t a term in college basketball anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. TT, I agree it’s ignorant to suggest we flat out lost Ugboh to Tulsa, I don’t think anyone with half a brain believes that (maybe a few posters, but there are idiots in every fanbase). That said, I do think we need to try to bring in one more rebounder (besides Coulibaly) to help out our team development, morale, etc. next year, it’s just demoralizing to play good D for a full possession only to have the opponent get another rebound and put it back in. Ideally it would be nice to get a guy 6’8″ plus, but he doesn’t need to be a true center in my opinion, since true centers are hard to find, I’d much rather have a slightly smaller more skilled guy. And I agree also that we don’t need a developmental big that may or may not help us in 3 years (ala Diallo), although I’d take one, I don’t love the idea. We could use another guard as well, especially a ball handler.

      Like

      1. The recruit who signed with Tulsa did in fact make an official visit to Pitt last week.

        If I understand recruiting properly, coach Capel only has a certain # of official visits to give – I’d say he was serious about the new Tulsa big.

        Like

  32. ^^ That’s true enough TT but PITT needs to bring in a big man that’s either, ready to contribute or starts the learning curve ASAP. That said, I’m sure everyone will be happy with this recruiting class at the end of the day.

    Like

    1. So far it is a good class with three long-term prospects to build the roster. Adding Sy and OR-N would be a terrific way to end the class, then Nadir is granted a sixth year.

      The 2020 class I’m expecting three four-star recruits with the time the staff has had building relationships.

      Like

  33. natebailey4 – Texas Tech wasn’t coming off of a winless conference slate nor in year one of a coach who hadn’t been HC in 8 years. C’mon. Much easier to get elite grad transfers to a team coming off an Elite 8 trip.

    Pitt also has to recruit the ACC footprint. The Big 12 footprint is not nearly as prestige or competitive in-league. Chris Beard is also a phenomenal coach and not everyone will be Chris Beard. He has proven to be an exceptionally rare talent. Sometimes you get lucky … Texas Tech got lucky.

    Basketball can turnaround pretty quickly but let’s not be naive. Pitt was in a very very bad place. Pitt hired a HS recruiter. Not someone who scavengers the free agent market.

    I don’t have any problem with that approach. I always thought Buzz Williams would be great for Pitt but we had our HC spot open up a year too late. Pitt did not hire a Chris Beard or Buzz Williams though. We hired a master at HS recruiting … but it takes time to build relationships … and the buzz is he has very good relationships with the 2020 class right now.

    Pitt is building a good roster and putting a solid foundation in place The next step will be top 50 talent. Two top 50 players is the secret sauce for a Final 4 team. Hopefully, he has that in the 2020 class. If so, we’re only two years away from being ultra competitive, which would be 3 years since Capel stepped onto campus. 3 years is pretty quick in my book and Pitt is tracking that direction.

    Losing a kid to Tulsa is not a game changing loss. Sorry. Most likely the kid was told he’d be a bench player for his career or that Pitt was not interested any longer. Look at Sy’s history … Great if we get him but he has not proven to be very reliable. He’s another one I wouldn’t get too upset over. if he comes great, but if not it wasn’t meant to be.

    Ike – not worried about a big man at all. They’re a dying bread. I am worried about the lack of shooters. Shooters and defense is what you need. You can play with a 3 forward lineup no problem at all. It helps if one of those forwards is an above the rim athlete but shooting can be the great equalizer.

    If the 2020 class misses then some panic can set in … I don’t think we’ll be falling back on panic, however.

    Like

  34. My argument just mainly deals with Pitt and big men. Whether we lose a 5 to Tulsa, Georgetown, Ohio St, or Illinois … name your school ….. or whether it is a JUCO, grad transfer or HS …. we haven’t gotten a legit center commit since 2012. Dixon, Stallings or Capel.

    And not even a 4-star … a legit 3-star would be fine. Just one guy who can defend and rebound vs other centers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By the way he handled Adams, I think JD poisoned the waters for “centers” coming to Pitt while he was still coaching here. I mean Adams only touched the ball if he got a rebound. Drove me crazy – especially against the early cupcakes.

      Opposing recruiters no doubt had stats on Adams touches vs. their centers. Kids today want offensive stats, not setting picks stats…

      But it’s a new era in Pitt BB – with Pitt now looking much more NBAish in style of play…

      Go Pitt.

      Like

  35. Wwb – you don’t need a center in this era. I’d much rather have a 6’8″ guy who can shoot and gaurd the perimeter.

    My biggest wish for next year is that X and McG are shooting a thousand 3’s daily with form. Haha.

    I have low expectations for next season. I think they can improve a little but I’m not expecting leaps and bounds.

    Year 3 is that jump IMO.

    Like

  36. Capel definitely needs to do some serious soul searching about big man recruiting. You can spin it however you want but he has missed on basically all of them so far. He has been very solid with recruiting other positions

    Like

  37. I love capel and think he is the right man for pitt. But for some reason he has missed on every big man target except for coulibaly. And there have been tons akok, walker, diallo, wahab, cockburn, samuel, tshiebwe, ugboh,etc. many went to lesser or equal programs. I don’t think it is unfair To say he should look at why he hasn’t connected with big men this year. Because he his message has connected with every other position.

    Like

    1. POD I would say B. All things considered he has done well getting good players so far. The big men have been his only real problem so far.

      Like

  38. Pittman2003 – Capel was late in the game on all of them. Only one that would have had an impact IMO is Akok. Everyone else are projects.

    And even with Akok …” UConn had been recruiting him for more than two years, with the new coaching staff picking up the trail last April and staying patient as he weighed his options.
    “The support system [made the difference],” Akok said. “They really supported me from day one back in April, and they want what’s best for me as far as goals for the future.””

    UCONN made a good hire that didn’t scare him off. Good for them. Hard to overcome two years of recruitment.

    Like

  39. Despite misses on Bigs, Pitt is ranked #32
    4 more scholies to give so the ranking will most likely improve

    Remember, Pitt football was ranked #50

    Capel will land a top 10 class before Narduzzi. I’ll bet the house on it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Fwiw Dokish (known cheerleader) seems to think Capel has the situation well in hand and things will end up okay

      Like

  40. Going on record here. Liked the Capel hire a lot but don’t know if I’m a big fan so far.. For you guys who call me a homer, please note that. I also said the same thing about Narduzzi and continue to do so. Some don’t remember those comments from me. Still say it’s way way too early to judge right now. Although I admit, it’s fun to judge what we do not know.

    Like

  41. So, this might offend a few folks. Let me start by saying that Capel, in my opinion, is much better than Hurley and I am glad our AD whiffed on her first attempt.

    Many here feel that Capel is early in his tenure and giving him a pass, just because he is going after high level talent that we have been weaned off for quite a few years. I look at recruiting differently and it may be due to my closeness to this situation. In college bball recruiting, coaches like Capel have been actively recruiting and developing relationships with high level players, coaches and handlers for years. Since that is the case, there should not be anyone on his recruiting radar where relationships haven’t been developed.

    He is not starting his tenure with a blank slate. Same with his assistants.

    Now, if you want to say that his hands are tied by the AD with respect to how you recruit elite talent (insert wink, wink here), than you have to accept the misses. People are questioning how you lose top talent to lesser schools, but fail to read the news about recruiting, aau, handlers and shoe companies. I approve of playing the game to get the best kids. Our AD does not.

    The problem he will quickly run into is that he already has a point guard who wants to leave in two years and has stated so. If he doesn’t land a big to develop this year, he will have a timing problem of getting a high 2020/21 player to join a back court that is ready to leave, hence one year. It makes for an unbalanced team and when we have bigs, we will need smalls…and when we have smalls we won’t have high performing bigs to match. A critical piece of recruiting is achieving team balance. Hope he gets to that soon.

    Like

  42. PS – the transfer portal has problems. For the first time, players put their names in the portal and used it as leverage to be promised playing time if they come back (see Sanders at Dairy High School, etc.).

    Tommie Stevens, I would take as a tight end for the year. The guy is athletic for sure. I could see putting him in motion for an inside hand-off, or the same motion with an inside or end around hand-off turned into an option run or option pass. He would be a great pickup for a canada offense that is innovative. He is a proven athlete.

    Transfers are problematic. Any student can do it without penalty, so why can’t athlete students? Seems a bit discriminatory. Coaches don’t like it because they will be forced to tell the athlete the truth every year instead of just having to lie to them once to bring them into the fold originally.

    Like

  43. I’m glad PITT landed Coach Capel. I like his energy, charisma and personality. I think he needs a little bit of time and patience from the fans/media to fully implement his vision for the program. Although Hurley doesn’t seem to be as warm and personable as Capel, I think he’s a very good coach.

    Like

  44. Ok, looks like Capel was hired March 27, 2018, so it’s been just over a year, and he has not completed his first full recruiting class yet. You’d have to be an angry kid stuck in his mom’s basement (or a hillbilly fan pretending to be a Pitt fan) to be pounding out negative anything about Capel thus far. We are very fortunate to have him, and he is very fortunate to be here.

    Like

  45. Disagree 1618 – Capel has been recruiting current/future kids since some were in the 8th grade. He doesn’t stop recruiting them because he changed job location. C’mon man. Take off those Pitt glasses and just call it what it is…or….start calling names which you choose to do, because when people can’t argue a point and back it up due to their ignorance, they call names. High road for me dude.

    It’s not like he is a brand new coach, with zero contacts. His area code changed, that’s it. If he was brand new, not an issue. His relationship developed over years with AAU and kids has not changed one bit. Now, if you want to say that he is no longer permitted to play the game, that’s an entirely different thing and that to me will be the difference in how far Pitt can go.

    You do know that Duke is/was being investigated on different fronts (including basketball) for fraud and actually just paid over $100M in fines, right? C’mon dude. Before you start trying to blast people, read. If you question the written word, call people at Duke that you know personally. I did. Wait….i lied. I didn’t call them. They called me because they didn’t know how to get out of their situation. My recommendation was to negotiate out, which they have started to do.

    Also, I have been a great supporter of Capel and believe he will go far IF Pitt allows him to play the game, even if modified to some extent. When you lose 4 and 5 star talent to lesser known programs, you need to under$tand instead of burying your head. I don’t type with emotion dude. I don’t work allowing emotion get in the way of decisioning.

    If you want me to believe your premise that he has only been coaching and recruiting since March of 2018, that would be a big stretch. He started at Pitt in March 2018, correct, but he came here having connections to kids for years. His recruiting game may have changed when his location to Pitt changed.

    Like

  46. Huff III – So Capel goes from being an assistant at Duke to a Head Coach at Pitt, and the only thing that changed is the area code? That’s not even worth responding to.

    And further, I have not “blasted” anyone or called anyone names, my point was obviously general in nature regarding criticial comments pointed at Capel at this juncture; I think that mindset, before he even inks his first full class in the situation he inherited is beyond childish and shortsighted, especially since you/we do not know the circumstances concerning any of the recruits Capel was/is after.

    And finally, I’m OK with critical comments and counter points, I’m sure not right all the time (or even close), but at least take the time to get your facts straight before yapping.

    Like

  47. So he didn’t recruit 8th graders, 9th graders and AAU players and handlers as an assistant at Duke? The point is that he didn’t start from scratch at Pitt. A point you fail to consider in your rant. He didn’t come here starting at ground zero, which is your slant.

    Had he been a california coach, you could infer that he would have to make in-roads into the east coast recruiting culture and it would take awhile to get up to speed. Not under our actual scenario. Capel is recruiting the same kids that he had been after for years at Duke. That’s a good thing. The bad ting is that there may be different rules in place under our administration versus dukes.

    Which part is childish? Does he need a learning curve on how to recruit to the ACC? He seemed to recruit really well, really early at Oklahoma. Don’t dumb the guy down or make excuses for him. Ask him if he thinks he could have done better recruiting last year and so far this year and I guarantee, he will say yes. He knows how to do it? My question is whether the administration will allow him to do it his way or will he be restrained. Which part of hillbillyisms and basements does this fall under? All legitimate to me.

    Like

  48. Actually, I was not ranting, and my comments were not directed at any one person in particular, I think you know that. Capel is recruiting the same kids yes, but to a different school (one coming off of a colossal hiring failure that gutted the program in record time), without Coach K at his side, and he’s been done so thus far without yet completing his first full recruiting class. It’s truly mind boggling that anyone, even 1% of our fanbase, would be critical of what he’s done to date all things considered. But then again, there’s a vocal 1% in every fanbase, and I don’t think too many people take them seriously. Capel’s shortened first official class came in at #32, which is remarkable by all accounts. I’ll become a fellow worry-wart if after the 2020 class we don’t see significant progress, which is still early, but given a hefty salary I think would at least be a reasonable expectation given a hefty salary.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment Please and Keep It Civil...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s