|Paul Chryst ended the search for a defensive coordinator on Monday by promoting DB coach Matt House. (US Presswire)|
Pittsburgh has decided to promote from within to fill the defensive coordinator position, elevating defensive backs coach Matt House. The job has been open since Dec. 14, when Dave Huxtable left to take the same position on Dave Doeren's new staff at NC State.
Paul Chryst made the news official on Monday, also announcing that veteran coach John Palermo -- most recently the defensive line coach on Derek Dooley's staff at Tennessee -- will join the Pitt staff to work with the defensive ends and linebackers.
"I was very impressed by Matt's work last year in the secondary," Chryst said. "He has been a great fit for our program as a coach, recruiter and teacher of the game. His experiences and work ethic have more than prepared him for this opportunity to be a coordinator."
Chryst hired House to coach the defensive backs after he arrived in Pittsburgh before the 2012 season. House worked as a defensive quality control coach for the St. Louis Rams (2009-11) and special teams assistant for the Carolina Panthers (2008) after working several seasons as a college assistant that included stops at Michigan State, North Carolina, Gardner Webb and two seasons as recruiting coordinator for Turner Gill at Buffalo.
House played a big part on the recruiting trail in the past year, serving as Chryst's primary recruiter in Michigan and helping the Panthers sign a 27-prospect class that ranked No. 32 nationally according to 247Sports.
Palermo was on Barry Alvarez's staff at Wisconsin from 1991-2005 before two seasons in the NFL and his return to the college game. With House -- just a few months from his 35th birthday -- taking over as the new defensive coordinator, the hope for many Pitt fans is that Palermo will bring valuable experience to a young staff as the Panthers prepare for their first season of ACC play.
As Jeremy Fowler wrote last week, the coaching carousel -- particularly among assistant coaches -- speeds up again in the days following National Signing Day. It is possible that Pittsburgh wanted to finish the recruiting cycle with its current staff, waiting until the shuffle restarted to consider outside candidates.
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