Pitt Football’s Past vs Present

I just received an email from two readers who have been associated with the University of Pittsburgh for many decades.  Following is the gist of their conversations about two Pitt head coaches with some additions and edits by myself.

The thrust of the conversation was about Pitt’s football head coach Johnny Michelosen who was an assistant on the 1938 8-2 Pitt team that was coached by the legendary Jock Sutherland. After bouncing around in staff coaching jobs in the NFL he came back to Pitt as the HC.

So – the e-mail conversation basically went like this – how would Michelosen (JM) and Narduzzi (PN) stack up against each other had they played the same number of ‘real’ opponents each season?

For the younger fans on here, back before the TV broadcasting rights sparked the huge growth of the college game nationally in the mid-1960’s (horse racing, MLB and boxing were the main sports back then) along with the apparent need to have at least two (or even three) pansies on the schedule to pad the win column, football teams scheduled were much more evenly matched – mainly because there were only a few conferences formed back in the 50’s-60’s.

Pitt, of course, was not in any conference as we were an “Independent” program so Pitt set their own schedules with some conference teams on it but mainly other Independents.  Also, remember that the Army and Navy service academies were strong then. For instance, in JM’s 9-1 season of 1963 this was the schedule and results:

Those first three AAWU teams were from the Athletic Association of Western Universities – leftovers from when the PAC-12 was blown up due to scandals in the mid-50’s.  But those Independents on the list above played good ball with Navy ending 9-2, Syracuse 8-2 and Penn State at 7-3.

Here is the emailed conversation…

Duzz looks relaxed.  Entering year seven I expect another year of better than even record, but no top 25.   I think Duzz is another John Michelosen – good coach, good guy, but no glory.  

Well, I won’t press the comparison, but Johnny M.’s teams played a ten-game schedule against genuine opponents every week.  And they had the 1963 team, played in the Sugar Bowl and the Gator Bowl, and finished in the top 20 in four of his eleven seasons.

How have Pat Narduzzi’s teams done?  In six seasons, there have been no top 20 finishes, and their only true bowl game was the Sun Bowl (Ed: I think he wrote that because it was the toughest opponent PN faced in all his bowl games). 

Here are the records (as recorded and as adjusted for the automatic wins (cupcakes) that teams inflate their W-L records with now). 

Regular Season Records Under Pat Narduzzi 

                                    Cupcakes                     Adjusted Record 

2015                8-4     Akron                                     6-4 

                                   Youngstown State 

2016                8-4     Villanova                               6-4 


2017                5-7     Youngstown State                3-7 


2018                7-5     Albany                                   6-5 

2019                7-5     Ohio                                     5-5 


2020                6-5       Austin Peay                         5-5             

I like Pat Narduzzi.  I think he is good for Pitt.  May he stay a long time!  but I do not think he is going to turn Pitt into the “elite program” (whatever that is) that the fans want.

Just for fun, I modified Johnny Mike’s season records to include two cupcake wins each season.  Here is what it would look like:

1955    9-3 

1956    9-2-1 

1957    6-6 

1958    7-4-1 

1959    8-4 

1960    6-3-3 

1961    5-7 

1962    7-5 

1963    11-1 

1964    5-5-2 

1965    5-7 

Not excellent perhaps, but not too shabby.  And when was the last time we had an 11-1 season?”

Anyway readers – that is an interesting take on the past vs. present of Pitt football. I remember my parents and their Pitt friends’ heavily martini laden Friday night conversations about Michelosen (and head coaches Dave Hart and Carl DePasqua) and the teams back in the day. 

If we current fans think Pitt has basically stunk over the last 30 years look at the years my Mom and Dad were strongly associated with Pitt as undergrads, grad students and on the faculty from 1938 to 1969. Much worse as far as wins and losses. but I will bet it was a lot more fun back then to be a fan watching the Panthers play on Saturday afternoons in Pitt stadium and enjoying football more as a real sport rather than the revenue-based business it is now.

Note: Regarding that 1938 season which was the last Sutherland had at Pitt here was the games:

Note the first loss of the season – to Carnegie Tech! Not “Carnegie Mellon” by the way… “Carnegie Tech”. Prior to that game Pitt had given up an average of 5.3 points per game then the Mighty Skibos put up 20 to beat us. Then a 7-0 loss to #3 Duke (Oh, how times have changed.)

97 thoughts on “Pitt Football’s Past vs Present

  1. Pat Narduzzi has world class facilities, a top third ACC budget and coaches in a P5 conference and plays in the weakest division of all P5 with a cross over that’s won four times against Pitt in 20 years. And despite what some may say, there is plenty of talent within 500 miles to pick from. He utterly fails in every aspect of coaching. I won’t debate that’s he’s a nice guy and players love him. That’s a whole nother issue.

    Tex – who will buy meatballs a one way ticket out of town. Just pick up the phone heather.


  2. I’ll just re-post what I recently posted on the previous article. I need no convincing that the Dooz is
    just an Avg coach EVEN WIth the 2 cupcake rent-a-wins per season. And a Top 25 paid coach being merely average and avg’g 6.5 wins per season, does not Equate.

    Only Felton Capel’s futility somewhat raises Doozie’s results perception. Which are pretty avg at best.

    Let’s take a closer look see.

    The last 4 years the Dooz has 26 wins. Avg’g out to 6.5 wins per year. Which is not very good.

    Over same time he has 24 losses. Avg’g out to 6 losses per year.

    So he’s barely above water. Very close to avg’g 6 & 6, which sux for the money he’s paid.

    And the one bowl miracle win over the last place MAC East team. Whoop !


    1. That old dude 50 years before I was born that coached pitt football probably made only $5k per year plus all the free eats from some Polish place in the Strip. Narduzzi is paid $4 million plus benefits for mediocrity. Those are just facts and not opinion.


      1. Johnny Mike ate here a lot. Fiorucci Brother’s Restaurant Grill. So did my dad who also worked for Pitt.


  3. Frank Beamer made his big breakthrough in Year 7 with 9 wins.

    Year 7 is upon us for the Dooz. If he doesn’t win at least 9 this year given the easy 3 to 4 wins in the
    non-con…..he should be gone.

    Wanny won 9 games in Year 4, 10 games in Year 5.

    Walt won 9 games in Year 6, starting at the scrap heap.

    9 wins at a minimum for Dooz this year or GONE !


  4. Ha ha

    On the sign – A good place to eat and talk things over.

    Like what we gonna do about this problem. Narduzzi is the problem for those that are obtuse.

    Damn streets are brick and plain dirt. I expected to see horse and buggey.


    1. Streetcar tracks were on it. Streetcar ran all the way on Liberty Ave from Town to Bloomfield and then to East Liberty and also had a route that split onto Penn Ave into Lawrenceville as well.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes everyone or near everyone was dressed sharp, whether in town for work, business or entertainment.

          My how times have changed.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I lived in San Francisco for a number of years and I would pass the trolley car turnaround (Powell and Market) going to and from work. Almost any time of day/year there would be hundred of tourists lining up to ride the trolley. Always made me sad/bitter that Pittsburgh removed its lines which were a personal favorite when I was a little kid and could have been a tourist attraction (not at the level of SF, but still). Most American cities are like this, but I feel Pittsburgh has done an especially bad job of preservation. Usually trend chasing instead of properly developing natural assets (this may be changing in recent years).


    2. Narduzzi Capel and an athletic department that is completely out of sync with playing the game like its peers.
      Someone needs to let Pitt in on a secret: its self imposed purity is costing it money and losing contests and fans


  5. I’ll get dressed up for my funeral…maybe. Might just go naked. Go out like I came in. With more wrinkles and fat of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So you list the paddy cakes but don’t list the Top 10 teams … 2 each year except 2018 when the played 3

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 2 people

  7. Interesting comparison. I would like to state that most people I talk to and those who submit opinions here, do not expect for Pitt to be elite in my opinion. However, when your AD predicts championships and always talks about championships (in the revenue sports folks), somebody is getting it wrong. It is her. She is not believable and if you are not believable or respected, you cannot change a culture to one of greatness. You can’t.

    Me, I do not expect elite. I do expect well above average because that is achievable without being a tabloid headline. Our Administration has it all wrong and will continue to get it wrong until a true leader emerges at Pitt. Also, can we divorce ourselves from the thought that we are UPMC? We are not. They are separate entities in so many ways, so much that they pay for duquesne’s basketball facilities and bobby moe’s, yet can’t fund Pitt Football. This is a prime example of Pitt not understanding what a brand means.

    Unfortunately, UPMC does, and wants nothing to do with Pitt or Pitt athletics except sharing in the Pitt name. Even with that, they shied away. Notice they are branded and called UPMC, not the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Marinate on that for awhile.


  8. Pitt fans have marinated in unspeakable things for the past 35 years. We’re not chicken or turkey.


  9. Call me a foolish romantic, but I love those old glory days at Pitt, with the national schedule and all the pomp and pageantry of big time college football. I remember as a kid from a small high school coming into Pitt Stadium and being overwhelmed by the atmosphere of thousands of fans, signs, and all of the hoopla.

    Back then there was no NFL football to speak of, and college football was the real game. Games against UCLA, Cal, etc. well that was just special. I remember eating spaghetti and meatballs at Frankie Gustine’s and being awestruck that the restaurant was owned by a (former) major league baseball player since my whole life I was a Pirates fan.

    I’m saddened now that Pitt has destroyed this on campus atmosphere, and in my remaining years there may never be another top 10 finish let alone a chance to play for the national championship. After Sherrill left, I naively felt that another championship would soon come along in the 80s, and then the 90s, and then, well you all know…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What you mean games against Albany at half empty Heinz Ketchup Bottle don’t thrill you ???

      Shame on You !!! For wanting what we had ! Learn to accept being inconsequential and join
      the club !


  10. Now when you walk into Heinz, you’re blinded by the empty yellow seats. And most often you can hear a stray cat meow given the fan silence. The dogs follow baseball and soccer. Proven winners.


  11. Carnegie Tech 1938- not too shabby with close losses to ND and #1 TCU…. played home games at PITT Stadium….. maybe we could play at TARTAN Field… bet we could pack it to the hilt!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If Pitt ever does, I’ll wear my Stewart tartan. Blue painted hairy chest. No underwear. Carrying a bottle of scotch in one hand and a diaper in the other.


  12. I seem to remember old Tartan Field had a higher capacity than the current 3500. And they rebuilt/renamed it. Must have been one of my previous lives, but thought it use to seat like 15,000.

    Gesling Stadium was built in 1990 as part of the east campus project which included the construction of two new dormitories located on the south end of the stadium and a 700 space parking garage attached at the north end. The playing surface was renovated with FieldTurf in the summer of 2006 and resurfaced and rebranded in the summer of 2014. The track was resurfaced in the summer of 2016. The stadium is home to the football team in the fall and the track and field team in the spring. The surface is an infill mix of silica sand and cryogenic rubber and a patented layering process that delivers a system that emulates natural grass. The seating capacity is 3,500 in the grandstands with multiple standing room viewing options available.


  13. VoR… I’m right there with you… love to see it go back to being college ball… the sooner the better….bring back the single wing.. the wing T and the wishbone… it was all great…. leave the turnover chain and the basketball goal in a dumpster!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ole Miss is known for their pre game parties and tailgating. Some good bbq there. And do they really throw their beers up in the air and spray like a spring shower down upon everyone. God forbid it’s bourbon. No home run is worth a spillage of fine bourbon.

    Pitt could have such a atmosphere. If you can think it, it can become real.

    But there is no will. Hence there is no way.

    Pitt could pay me in dog food, and I could get 2000 fans to watch baseball. It’s not that hard if you have a brain, some creativity, a modest budget and some passion.


  15. I remember the Johnny Mike days because I entered Pitt in 1959 and graduated in ’63. No Fanta, no
    Caroline,….. just a bunch of alcohol happy students who enjoyed the walk up cardiac hill to visit OUR STADIUM///No Ketchup bottle and piss troughs that will long live in my memory.

    Pitt did not play pussyfoot football and the schedule always included one or both of the service academies that in those days were powerhouses. Syracuse was loaded and Miami was always a challenge to say the least. We had Oklahoma, Michigan State (they were solid in the early 60’s), UCLA, TCU, Baylor and of course Notre Dame as opponents. MISSING was Youngstown, Delaware, Villanova, Marshall, Albany, etc, etc. Doozy is living in Candyland and he is hard pressed to figure out how to defeat Boston College.

                                                     GIMMIE A BREAK!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Long Live Piss Troughs ! If you could smell the piss stench, you knew you hadn’t drank enough yet !

      Michigan State’s best all-time teams were in the 1950’s & 1960’s under Duffy Daugherty.
      1958 , October 11th….#9 Mich State hosted #10 Pitt
      1960 #6 Mich State & #17 Pitt played to a 7-7 tie in Oakland.


  16. P.S. We couldn’t wait to play PENN State Sucks every year….NO Excuses just play the damn game!!


  17. Ah, the smell of hotdogs boiling, hot chocolate brewing and broken bottles of cheap alcohol. I saw every one of those 63 home games as a 13 yr old Boy Scout usher in Section 23. To this day I have my Cal,Army, Cuse and Washington Pennants from those games. Even then, refused to buy a Penn State pennant! My dad always told me, always buy a pennant after the game…$15 Pre game…$1 after game! The Penn State game was so exciting, I couldn’t sleep that night The start of many of those nights watching Pitt Sports!

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Some of my best memories were taking the trolly to the games with my Dad. Stopping downtown on the way at the Brass rail. His beer and those hamburgers with the little chopped onions, then on the way home at the Oyster House where he’d have a fish, mystery dough that supposedly held an oyster, and a large buttermilk! Man, what I’d give to do that one more time!

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Great stuff Reed. So many things have changed. Hard to compare the coaches without reflecting on the overall environment. So much more local talent that Carnegie Tech could compete. Going back further W&J was a powerhouse.

    No doubt Johnny Mike had a better mentor than Narduzzi.

    The landscape of College football has changed so dramatically as to make any comparison meaningless.

    Today’s game is all about big money and bag men before coaching prowess factors in.

    Playing cupcakes has little to do with anything since everyone does it.

    The difference between the top and bottom in quality of play is far different these days.

    Wishing to attend one more game with our Pop is something we can all agree on.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Pitt has no excuses as to why it’s not a top 25 program.

    Cincy, Iowa state and northwestern were all top ten

    Pitt doesn’t want it bad enough

    So it keeps bad coaches and continues to play off campus without even conducting a feasibility study

    And fans don’t want it bad enough either yet complain but keep giving Pitt money and buying those ugly anthracite uniforms.

    There were 14 scrub schools that made the AP and Coaches poll top 25. And every year about half the top 25 final ranking are scrubs. Pitt hasn’t been that scrub in over ten years.

    That’s inexcusable. Indefensible. And most likely by design. Because you have to work real hard to be that bad or consistently mediocre.


    1. You’re darn right Pitt doesn’t want it.

      Jackie had a vision for football and the chancellor blew him off. Hard to believe he wanted to come back, twice.

      That same chancellor hired Hackett over Alvarez, not that Gottfried needed to be canned. Pitt could have let Barry run football and the BoT could focus on academics without stressing about football becoming rogue.

      Zero, zero vision by the eggheads regarding football and it’s importance to the university.


  21. It doesn’t take five, six or seven years to know you have a good coach. You typically know within the first three years

    See Soccer, volleyball and wrestling.

    Also see football and men’s basketball. Yet pitt extended mediocrity for those two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait until other schools come calling for these Pitt coaches. Instead of keeping them, Pitt will let them walk. Then we’ll read on here “glad Pitt didn’t get into a bidding war with these schools. The sole mission of the university is to educate and become top notch in research.”


      1. Well these coaches have been extended. I was most worried about fisher going back to Cali. He still might though but an extension buys time. He would kill it coaching volleyball in LA.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It may change if and when Pitt goes private. And personally I believe going private could be a positive game changer. Right now pitt only receives about a 7 percent subsidy from the commonwealth for its $2.2 billion operating budget.


        1. When’s the press conference for this announcement Tex? What does your “inside” informants say? Tomorrow?


          1. Well. My insider is typically good on these things. But my first tell was a Monday release. I’m thinking the prolonged silence is driven by legalities and negotiations. Have patience. News will break.


            1. I would love to see Pitt going private, however,the need for major alumni giving raises its UGLY head.

              Pitt just does NOT have a sugar daddy. Best example is David Tepper who gave a fortune ($67 mil)
              to Carnegie-Mellon to name its B school after him….yes, he has his MBA from Carnegie but his largesse has to my knowledge not found its way to Pitt. He is worth many billions (estimates are more than 10 Billion) and his toy is owning the Carolina Panthers. HEDGE FUNDS IF PROPERLY MANAGED =
              BILLIONS////Tepper should be our sugar daddy.

              Think T Boone Pickett and Oklahoma State////$$$$$.

              Private no way for Pitt to entertain the thought. Think UPMC and remember that the HUGE multi-billion-dollar entity has a connection to Pitt in name only////how did Pitt manage to %#@(+ up this relationship?

              Nice try Tex, it ain’t gonna happen.


  22. WBB – I didn’t write the subject text because I wasn’t in the email conversation. Try reading and understanding the whole article please…

    If you did some research you would have seen that JM’s teams were ranked #16 or above in seven (7) years out of the 11 he was at Pitt. From that, six of those seven years we were in the Top Ten with a biggest ranking of #3.

    Not only that but he played and beat highly ranked teams on a regular basis, let’s look at his first six years


    ’55 – played five Top 12 teams (beat #6, #7 and #8) 3-2 against ranked teams. Final team rank #7

    ’56 – played four Top 8 teams (beat #5 and #6) 2-2 against ranked teams. Final team rank #7

    ’57 – played three Top 10 teams (beat #6 and #7) 2-1 against ranked teams. Final team rank #8

    ’58 – played three Top 14 teams (tied #1 and beat #14) 1-1-1against ranked teams. Final team rank #7

    ’59 – played four Top 16 teams (beat #7 ) 1-3 against ranked teams. Final team rank #16

    ’60 – played two Top 6 teams (beat #3) 1-1 against ranked teams. Final team rank #7

    So, over his first six years he tied a #1 team, won against eight Top 10 teams and finished in the Top 16 or above every season.


    ’15 – played two Top 21 teams beat none. 0-2 against ranked teams. No final ranking

    ’16’ – played two Top 20 teams (beat #3) 1- 1 against ranked teams. No final ranking

    ’17 – played four Top 23 teams (beat # 2) 1-3 against ranked teams. No final ranking

    ’18 – played six Top 23 teams (beat #23) 1-5 against ranked teams. No final ranking

    ’19 – played three Top 25 teams (beat #15) 1-2 against ranked teams. No final ranking

    ’20 – played four Top 24 teams (beat #24) 1-3 against ranked teams. No final ranking

    Michelson played against 21 teams ranked #16 or above and won 10 of those for a 10-11 record

    Narduzzi played against 21 teams ranked #24 or above and won five of those for a 5-16 record

    I’d say, after looking at the first six years at Pitt for both HCs, JM had harder schedules and played much better against ranked teams


    Liked by 2 people

    1. When I worked for Westinghouse in the 80’s, we woudl drive into town and grab lunch at the Oyster House… “Gimme an Iron and a fish” and vooom!… served right up less than 10 seconds.


  23. Agree on catching one more game with pop – COVID-19 has changed that for now if any of us still has that opportunity.

    Two of my favorites with my son –

    I’m a Colts fan and we attended a game in Baltimore – road the light rail to the game to see Peyton Manning and my son was 12 years old. We were surrounded by rabid Raven fans – Peyton had a great game and we quietly enjoyed a great day of football.

    My son is a Yankee fan and I am an Orioles fan (so I hate the Yankees but love baseball). For my son’s high school graduation present, we went to the old Yankee stadium to see them play the Orioles. We got up early that day, drove to NJ and boarded a boat named the Yankee Clipper. We headed up the Hudson River seeing the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty and docked next to Yankee Stadium. The new park was under construction and in plan view as we made our way to the old park. The seats were on the 3rd base side and it was just a great day for a ballgame. The ride back down the river was rough as the sun was setting and the waters were very choppy.

    Needless to say, both memories for a lifetime.

    I would add the Pitt vs wvcc game where Revis had a spectacular punt return for a TD or the Pitt vs UConn Big East tournament game in Madison Square Garden when Kemba Walker put on a tremendous individual performance, but Pitt lost both games and they weren’t as impactful.

    Would love to drive to Pittsburgh today to see Pitt sweep the canes in baseball. Not in the cards, but maybe when the regionals come around…

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Well Nate, that is exactly its mission:

    “The University of Pittsburgh, founded in 1787, is one of the oldest institutions of higher education in the United States. As one of the nation’s distinguished comprehensive universities, the resources of the University constitute an invaluable asset for the intellectual, economic, and social enrichment of Pennsylvania, while the international prestige of the University enhances the image of Pennsylvania throughout the world.

    The University’s mission is to:

    • provide high-quality undergraduate programs in the arts and sciences and professional fields, with emphasis upon those of special benefit to the citizens of Pennsylvania;

    • offer superior graduate programs in the arts and sciences and the professions that respond to the needs of Pennsylvania, as well as to the broader needs of the nation and the world;

    • engage in research, artistic, and scholarly activities that advance learning through the extension of the frontiers of knowledge and creative endeavor;

    • cooperate with industrial and governmental institutions to transfer knowledge in science, technology, and health care;

    • offer continuing education programs adapted to the personal enrichment, professional upgrading, and career advancement interests and needs of adult Pennsylvanians; and

    • make available to local communities and public agencies the expertise of the University in ways that are consistent with the primary teaching and research functions and contribute to social, intellectual, and economic development in the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world.

    The trustees, faculty, staff, students, and administration of the University are dedicated to accomplishing this mission, to which they pledge their individual and collective efforts, determined that the University shall continue to be counted among the prominent institutions of higher education throughout the word.

    Do you actually believe Pitt thinks athletics is in any way, shape or form part of the defined mission of the university? Of course it isn’t. And donors to the university dot care about athletics either as our $4.17B endowment proves. We are ranked #7 nationally in public universities’ endowment money but almost dead last in ACC in athletic donations.

    What does that tell you?

    If dropping D1 sports wouldn’t make Pitt look like a ‘little school’ they would do it in a heartbeat


  25. Well, the mission won’t disintegrate with excellent athletics.

    Pitt seems to think so. The university would actually look better with stronger athletics. See Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State just to name a few.


      1. Although the BoT composition is changing. Hence so are the mindsets.

        However, cultural transformation won’t happen until structural changes occur. That means going private. That means changing the BoT number and bylaws.

        Organizational behavior 101


  26. A bit dated but nonetheless. From crazy paco on pantherlair forum.

    ACC Donor Comparison (2014)

    of living alumni (grad & undergrad)

    FSU 315,425
    Pitt 306,821
    UNC 296,046
    Syracuse 251,067
    VT 238,169
    UVA 213,000
    NCSU 205,400
    BC 168,651
    Miami 168,000
    Duke 157,017
    Louisville 138,340
    Clemson 132,198
    Georgia Tech 130,000
    ND 127,553
    Wake 67,065

    Total # of Athletic Donors
    1. Clemson 23,879
    2. NCSU 20,077
    3. FSU 27,074
    4. UNC 11,750
    5. VT 10,158
    6. UVA 9,842
    7. Duke 9,552
    8. Louisville 9,079
    9. ND 8,822
    10. Miami 8,076
    11. Pitt 8,031
    12. Georgia Tech 7,075
    13. BC 6,575
    14. Syracuse 5,157
    15. Wake 5,013

    Max possible % of alumni athletic donors
    1. Clemson 18.1%
    2. NCSU 9.8%
    3. FSU 8.6%
    4. Wake 7.4%
    5. ND 6.9%
    6. Louisville 6.6%
    7. Duke 6.1%
    8. GT 5.4%
    9. Miami 4.8%
    10. UVA 4.6%
    12. VT 4.3%
    12. UNC 4.0%
    13. BC 3.9%
    14. Pitt 2.6%
    15. Syracuse 2.1%


  27. Again, Johnny Mike coached in a totally different environment. Pro football didn’t pay diddly, football wasn’t a year round sport and kids played for fun. Few games were televised and there was no big money. There were only a handful of bowl games. WPA was a fertile recruiting ground. Kids were actual students without Pro money in their future planning.


  28. When you have no On campus stadium, the students do not have a great experience and therefore are not tied-in to the university for future giving. It’s telling that we are second highest in alumni, yet terrible at giving. This is a huge part of the AD job and she is missing it. Revenue begets revenue. You have to spend money to make money.

    Agree with Tex that something is happening with bball. As I posted last week, i indicated we would start hearing more from assistant coaches (non-relatives) and boom, Otoole shows up as a lead recruiter for the small forward commitment. There was not “closer” involvement other than he was on the phone as it was finalized. Candidly, I think Capel’s fate rests with the Efton decision this week. If he commits, you will see a big headline how the the other Capel was instrumental in landing him and that if anything happens to capels brother, Efton will leave.

    If the kid commits, momentum switches to Felton and I think the AD may be in trouble because they cannot co-exist, especially if the Hugley mess was racially motivated as may have been suggested. If the Efton fella doesn’t commit, I think Felton’s brother will be forced to move on and Felton will follow as soon as the next opening arises. Welcome to the game within the game.

    Pitt has had such an opportunity and they are blowing it. Think about this. For all the reasons the excuse makers pound into our eyeballs day after day for Pitts inability to recruit to an urban campus, the horrible weather, and other things….the covid environment has leveled the playing field because these kids don’t visit. These kids don’t see half empty Pete and half empty Heinz. They don’t get to experience the poor gameday experience. I anxiously await the new innovative excuses for our inability to recruit and how disadvantaged Pitt is. Good grief!


  29. Pitt really needs to have a separate mission statement for athletics.

    One that is ambitious yet realistic. One that does stress a balance between athletics and academics. One that is business oriented. But a public statement for all to see.

    Problem is that Pitt doesn’t have a plan. They always react. Their thinking is of a bygone era.

    The elites are elite because they plan to be elite. It just doesn’t spontaneously happen. It is by design. There are plans within plans within plans. It’s three dimensional chess they play.

    Pitt doesn’t have to take this path. But the path they have chosen leads to mediocrity.

    Change as I see it can come from five areas:

    1) changing the designation of the university to private
    2) reorganizing the BoT’s structure and bylaws
    3) influential boosters
    4) fans
    5) conference realignment

    Number 1 might just happen. I have some inside sources. It has been discussed. Privatizing leads to number 2 by default.

    Number 3 is neutered because pitt has banned any booster club like the Golden Panthers.

    Number 4 won’t happen because most Pitt fans are apathetic and don’t value sports

    Number 5 will happen again and Pitt will react again.


    1. You can learn a lot from a bunch of nuts! The secondary piece to the Mission is having every athlete student pull in the same direction FOR the university. The mission is pounded into their heads from recruitment to graduation (if they stay). Not one person is bigger than the university brand, ask Urb Meyer.

      Their academics have improved dramatically and their applications have gone through the roof, which has increased the talent pool, a smarter alumni and a bigger give back through donations. Simple math. Simple plan. Simple execution if committed.


  30. I personally would mention something about operating a financially sound business that is self sustaining

    Providing fans with a entertaining experience and helping alumni connect with the university

    Increasing the brand power and enhancing the schools identity and reputation

    A commitment to excellence defined by consistent top 25 rankings across all sports

    I would mention nothing of gpas or learning how to balance your bank account or saving kittens in high trees.


    1. One problem with the word business Tex. Business folks and academicians do not get along. Academics want to keep business out of higher ed. That is why you need someone who understands you can run a university like a business, but you do not need to shove business terms and processes down their throats. It is a skill only few possess but a critical one that let’s the elite be elite. Pitt does not have such a person. Harry (CFO)is cool. I like him alot personally. He and Gallagher were old gov’t friends. He just doesn’t understand how to put the pieces together himself (understandably so).

      The CFO needs to find a gap bridger. One who can unite the entire university, including bringing UPMC back into the fold, instead of keeping everyone in their own performance silo. It’s not hard. The people are out there but Pitt does not want to give up the power, to risk based decision makers…. (i.e. the business gurus who measure and manage performance).


  31. HC Bell did not start Gomez who went to HS in Miami, has the lowest ERA of Pitt’s starting pitchers and held the hoopies of wvcc to one run last Tuesday.

    Instead, today’s starter gave up 4 runs after 2 innings – a 3 run homer from a guy at the bottom of the canes batting order.

    I don’t understand this decision, but then again I’m not sure I would have managed to win the first two games of this series either.


    1. I think only four days rest that’s why. I’m sure he would have pitched if this was a regional.


  32. OT: Fitzsimmons voted DL MVP at the Under Armor Combine in Columbus Ohio. I wonder how many 4 and 5 stars he beat out for that honor at the combine.


    1. Pitt football plays with no confidence. Clearly this Pitt baseball coach instills confidence.

      Pretty much anytime Pitt football plays anyone of note, the game is over at the end of the 1st Q.

      They come out for the beginning of the game and look like they never played football at any level before.

      Majors & Sherrill were great at that at Pitt.


  33. The Pitt baseball team rolls into the top of the 9th up 12-5

    The brooms are out and ready to sweep. Sky Duff, Nico Popa and Ron Washington, Jr with multi-hit games and each with a home run.

    Much better than the Masters if I have to admit.

    I saw a few dogs lifting a leg toward the canes dugout…


    1. And a few that took deuces.

      Here is pitt football and Narduzzi saying we don’t come to Heinz field very often

      Very telling and wrong. Could it be because it’s not our field or our house. And it’s off campus.


  34. It is official – a clean sweep of #15 Miami.

    Pitt with a good chance to take sole possession of 2nd place in the ACC Coastal Division behind VT who swept Pitt a few weeks ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. If soccer and baseball can go from a ranking outside the top 100 to a number one rank and a top 15 rank after three years, why does it have to take Narduzzi over six years to get to top 25…assuming that miraculously happens this season.

    And soccer and baseball in the ACC have far more highly ranked teams than football.

    Defenders of meatballs. I want to hear what excuses you got.

    Coaching does matter. Period. End of discussion.

    I guarantee I won’t hear one cricket.


  36. You get me started about talking pitt baseball and volleyball and all you Koolaid drinkers will think someone spiked my bourbon with Koolaid or replaced my vinegar with sugar water.

    Coaching matters. Everything else is just a lame excuse.

    Pitching, defense and some surprising power is propelling the boys of summer and the pack stray dogs (several Pitt Bulls) are howling in support.


  37. Big B
    I tossed my beer today like ole miss fans do after the pitt win against the canes today.

    Now I need another beer. 🍻

    Or two.


  38. Reed, how well did JM get along with the Pitt administration and Athletics Dept while he was at Pitt? What was his stated reason for leaving? It looks like things went South for him in 1964/65, his last two years of coaching at Pitt.


  39. Someone mentioned Pitt alumnus David Tepper of my old neighborhood and indeed old grade school.

    Clearly Mr. Tepper is a HUGE football fan, having been a minority owner in the Stillers and then paying the largest sum EVER to buy an NFL franchise (Carolina (Charlotte) Panthers).

    CMU is never going to provide him any Major College Football fun. Pitt could !

    Has anyone ever at Pitt reached out to him ? He now owns one of the NFL franchises, smack in the heart of ACC Country.

    This is someone who should be on Heather & Gallagher’s speed dial.


  40. Tepper is a huge soccer fan. If anything, he’ll give money to the number one ranked team in the nation.


Comments are closed.