Blog Entry

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:36 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

According to multiple reports, this morning's suspicions that Mike Haywood would be Pittsburgh 's next coach have indeed been confirmed, and Haywood has been hired by Pittsburgh AD Steve Pederson today.

Haywood's pedigree includes a MAC championship at Miami University in only his second year atop the program; in his first year, the team went 1-11, and the eight-win turnaround was unmatched by any program in the FBS this year. Haywood also spent 14 years at major football schools LSU, Texas, and Notre Dame as a running backs coach; during his four years at Notre Dame, Haywood was also Charlie Weis' offensive coordinator.

During his career as an assistant coach, Haywood coached such tailbacks as Kevin Faulk, LaBrandon Toefield, Domanick Davis, Cedric Benson, and the talented but injury-plagued Armando Allen, and his experience at these "football factory" type of schools should allay any fears Pittsburgh fans may have about Haywood's recruiting abilities -- especially if all they're looking at is his last two years at Miami University.

Still, it doesn't seem apparent that Haywood has any meaningful connection to the Pittsburgh program or area, so one might not get the sense that this is a "destination" school for Haywood. Rather -- to borrow a term from the military -- this seems more like an "up or out" position for Haywood, where if he succeeds he's expected to move to a more prestigious program, and if he doesn't he's fired -- or, like his predecessor Dave Wannstedt, "gently encouraged" to resign at a 15-second press conference. Only time will tell.


Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:41 pm

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

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Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:21 pm

Haywood's a great coach!

Miami fans, alumni, and students (I'm a senior at Miami) in Oxford Ohio were shocked by the news, and sad to see him go.  His first season here he inherited a Montgomery led program that had won two games, and hadn't been ahead of mediocrity since 2003 when Ben Roethlisberger left.  In just two years Haywood took us from the bottom of the MAC where we had been dwelling since 03 to a Championship.  Haywood became a staple in the community and on campus.  Everyone loves him, and for the most part everyone did even before he got us winning.  The guy carries himself in a way that is both humble and powerful, he is a man who demands respect.  Plus if he brings Carl "Bull" Reese ()  as D coordinator along with him, you can bet that when TCU (who had the #1 overall defense in college football this year) comes to the Big East, Pitt will challenge them as the best D in the conference, and heck maybe the country.  Did you see what Haywood and Reese were able to do with a Miami defense this year (think Florida first week of the season) just imagine what they'll be able to do with Big East recruits! Haywood coaches his players to be men.  He plays the best players with no favoritism.  All of my friends on the Redhawk football team think he's the greatest coach they've ever played for.  The man can motivate like no other.  Hockey rules here in Oxford, and at a recent Hockey game I was broadcasting for the student radio station, Haywood came on the ice after the second period and got a louder cheer and ovation than any of the hockey players did that night.  Go ahead and knock him now but your football players, student body, alum, and boosters will soon fall in love with him.  The man is just one of those guys who has an aura about him.  On top of it all he's a tireless recruiter, his classes at Miami have been some of the best in recent memory, and I can only hope that whoever is the next coach here in Oxford, they'll be able to lock up this years class before they start looking elsewhere.  He's got an awesome eye for talent as well, made evident by the fact that Miami was to!  When he was hired here in Oxford, I was like you -- I was like, who?  But now two years later I'm wiping off my tears away as he leaves.  For you nay-sayers who point to Haywood's losing record in his first season, I'll remind you that Bo Shembechler and Woody Hayes both had losing records in their first losing seasons in Oxford as well, and we remember how they turned out.  In a couple of years we'll be chalking up another one for "," and it will be you Pitt fans wiping away tears and saying, "Please don't go!" as Haywood uses his success at Pitt to springboard onto bigger and better things -- he was a former assistant at LSU and Texas and those jobs might be open in the not too distant future, and seriously how long will Lane Kiffin be at USC?  Enjoy him while you got him Pitt, cause it won't be long!

Since: Mar 11, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2010 11:49 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

Pitt alum, and not real happy w/this hire. Why, Pitt settled again for reasons I do not know the answer. Is it soley money, if so, they deserve to be a 2nd tier program. There is plenty of money to spend, last I looked, students are paying more tuition than ever, and their endowment is at a all-time high from contributions from alumni. Do they not understand that Football pays for everything. You fill seats with W's. Spend money to make it. Hiring a below .500 coach from a 3rd tier program, by all reports, your 4-5th option, rings out bad news for Pitt fans. I will give the guy a chance, but Coach Haywood's qualifications don't equal the job he was given last night.

As a OC under Weis, they were bad, with good talent. The staff was asked to leave later on, if I recall. If you were down to leftovers, why not hire Cignetti imo, keep your recruits, keep current players happy, much smoother transition. Cignetti's background has better credentials. Just looked @ the recruits, their top guys are bailing. I agree Wanny pedigree was always a great recruiter, but it never showed in W's, that's absolutely true. But Wanny was never a great head coach anywhere. Wanny was hired to bring back the fans. He was a Pitt guy. If Pitt was going to bring the program to the next level, it needed a big time coach, this guy isn't. Pitt has a hard enough time recruiting against schools in the Big Ten, ACC & ND, because of the Big East, so you need a big time coach to get the top kids here. That's not going to happen now, this guy doesn't even have Western PA connections? Do you believe HS Coaches in Western PA are happy sending their kids to a guy w/no connections to Pitt or the area? The future doesn't look good right now. Hope the guy wins, but really don't see it happening. On the flip side, I look for WVU's program to really make a jump, more top quality kids heading to Morgantown under Holgorsen, the hot assistant that turned down Pitt. And Penn State with & the Big 10 behind them, with Bradley, might be able to put a wall around western PA now.  Pent State got better today, as well.

How Steve Peterson still has a job, I'll never know! Nebraska got rid of this guy so fast, now look at them. Hired a qualified new AD, hired the top assistant coach that year; Bo Pelini, later joins the Big 10 (Money Making machine), now top 10 program, all after getting rid of Peterson. When UM & Florida are hiring football coaches the same year as you/PITT, you got to act fast, not wait, and see what's left. Lose out on 1 of your choices, okay. But then get turned down by one of the top OC's in the country, making Pitt look worse, then he goes to your top rival-OUCH. Then 2 days later, tell everyone we hired the guy we wanted from the start. A MAC coach of 2 years with a 10-14 record, with no ties to the area. And worked under Charlie Weis as OC @ ND, not good! Pitt hired Steve Peterson TWICE! Tells you alot about the Administration @ Pitt, starting at the very top.

Hope I'm wrong.....

Since: Feb 9, 2009
Posted on: December 16, 2010 11:26 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

Pitt fans need to give this guy a chance.  He's got a solid background and has success at recenly as this year.  The local Post Gazette reporter stated at the end of the season that this Pitt team was as soft as any team he has covered.  From what I can see about Haywood, that will not be the case going forward.  Call me a crazy Pitt fan ( I know - redundant) but I am optimistic about this hire and think he has a great chance at success.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2010 11:03 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood


I guess someone will eventually have to tell me what "head coach material" is.  What aspect of a person negates them of an opportunity that they rightly deserve.  Is it appearance? Something about demeanor?  the way they dress?  If they yell or don't yell? 

Frank Beamer
Urban Meyer
Les Miles
Pat Fitzgerald
Mike Leach
Houston Nutt

These are all head coaches that have achieved success but are as different as a dog and a cat.  To me a good head coach is someone that wins and treats their players with respect and gets that same respect back.  Again that's just my opinion.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2010 11:01 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

To very simply put it, when a new coach is hired, as a fan/alumnus, you'd like to be hopeful and enthusiastic.  Best  case scenario is that I'm hopeful that Pitt made a good choice.  But there is nothing about the process or the hire that makes me me enthusiastic.  A losing record at a MAC school doesn't give you much to hang your hat on. Also, not considered much for other job openings at seemingly lesser programs than Pitt doesn't bode well.  But as a diehard Pitt alumnus, I'm trying real hard to be hopeful.

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: December 16, 2010 10:25 am

Pertersen Should be fired....

This guy is an ultra ego manica...the same guy that destroyed the Nebraska Program.  He handled this whole coaching change terrible and whatever happen with Haywood, good or bad he should be giving his walking papers now.  The funny thing is Pitt hired him for a second time....can't believe they didn't learn their lesson the first time around.  Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

Since: Dec 16, 2010
Posted on: December 16, 2010 10:11 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

fmksb3... first of all, settle down.  I'm a Pitt grad and Pitt hasn't had a storied football program since the late 70's.  If you think this is the worst coaching hire in Pittsburgh history apparently you've forgotten the names Foge Fazio, Paul Hackett, Johnny Majors version 2.0 or the Ralph Willard basketball days.  As to Wanny, he stinks... period, end of story.  He couldn't win the worst BCS conference in America with all his "great" recruiting, so I don't care how likeable he was or how much of a Pitt guy he was, he was just plain awful.  Being a complete no show in nationally televised games against Miami and WVU sealed his much deserved fate.  As for being a great recruiter even that is a big stretch.  He has a knack for recruiting several really good kids at the same position, but not filling out a team.  So the recruiting grade is good but the class in total isn't.  If he's such a great recruiter why is the o-line so bad, why are the DB's terrible for years, why do we have very average, undersized LB's, etc, etc.

I for one like the hire.  Why not take a shot on the up and comer instead of recycling a retread.  If you think Peterson was ever coming here or if you think the administration would ok a guy like Leach then you're just delusional.  Let's give Mike Haywood a chance.  He's certainly been around very successful programs and has had great coaching mentors... Holtz, Saban, Mack Brown, Charlie Weiss.  Bottom line... there is nowhere to go but up after Wanny and the seats will be filled if Pitt wins.

Since: Mar 4, 2007
Posted on: December 16, 2010 10:05 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

Let me see if I got this straight.  Pitt hires a coach out of the MAC who was the coach of the team that won the conference (Miami, O).  To many, this is considred a bad hire.  Miami (FL) hires a coach out of the MAC who was the coach of the team that finished 3rd in the East division (Temple), lost to Miami (O), 23-3 and did not get invited to a bowl game.  This, on the other hand, is considered a great hire.  Just wanted to make sure I got that straight.

Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: December 16, 2010 10:04 am

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood


Don't ignore my line that he is a recruiter and DC.  I'm not knocking what he is currently doing, please do not confuse that.  The Pitt fan wants Bradley as a Head Coach.  My arguement is that I do not think Scrap is Head Coach material, thus, if this Pitt fan wants Bradley as a Head Coach, by all means.  Obviously this is my opinion and you can disagree. 

From my observations and discussions with former and current players and staff, Bradley is in the correct position for him, meaning DC and recruiter.  I have not heard one of the aforementioned people say Bradley is the Head Coach in waiting, nor would be a good fit as a head coach anywhere.

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