Blog Entry

Report: FIU's Cristobal is 'frontrunner' for Pitt

Posted on: December 20, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: December 20, 2011 1:22 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

Pittsburgh's search to replace Todd Graham as the head football coach has slowed since the weekend's interviews, possibly because school officials are waiting for a response from the reported frontrunner: Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal.

Paul Zeise, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reports that Cristobal emerged from the weekend as the leading candidate to become the next Panthers football coach, but asked the school to hold off any further discussions until after FIU's bowl game. Cristobal's Golden Panthers squad will make its second-straight postseason appearance against Marshall in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl on Tuesday night.

Cristobal interviewed with the school last week, but the Panthers have back-up plans if the Miami native chooses to stay put with the Golden Panthers. Ohio State defensive coordinator -- and interim coach for 2011 -- Luke Fickell as well as Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst are the other known candidates for the vacant position. The report in the Gazette cited a source close to one of those candidates that suggested Pitt was "waiting for something" before moving forward. It is believed the school will wait for the completion of Tuesday's bowl game before gauging the interest of Cristobal.

No formal offers have been made by the school to any candidates, but all three would fit the mold Pittsburgh is looking for in their next coach. Of course, the Panthers thought Todd Graham fit that mold as well, but the most high-octane aspect from Graham's time in Pittsburgh was the speed of his exit. The school is looking for a coach to re-energize the storied program that has only claimed a share of two conference titles since 1980.

Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson will serve as the interim head coach when the Panthers face SMU in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 7 in Birmingham.

Get set for Mario Cristobal and FIU's showdown in Tuesday's Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl against Marshall at the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl Pregame

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Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: December 20, 2011 3:36 pm

Report: FIU's Cristobal is 'frontrunner' for Pitt

diebeasley: Are you insane? You must literally be the only person that is criticizing him or the job he has done. Cristobal has done a great job at FIU. He has taken a relatively small school which didnt even have a football program less than a decade ago and put them into some low level bowl games. He has to recruit local talent against schools like Florida, FSU, UM UCF and USF and he's still done a good job. He's a young coach who played at and assisted at UM, so he knows the big school mentality. If Pitt can use him to enter the south florida talent pool for recruits, then it is a good move.   

Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2011 2:35 pm

Report: FIU's Cristobal is 'frontrunner' for Pitt

Mario Cristobal and Fraud International University are just that, fraud... they play in a weak conference  therefore he and his team are highly overrated... a solid program like Pitt would be making a enormus mistake if they hire this guy, he would drag that program down in an instant. the high that his program has been on is a fluke - even though they are bowl eligible this year, they wouldnt even have been considered if so many teams like USC, Miami and other teams werent sanctioned and disallowed to play in bowl games this year. I hope and I am sure that Fraud International will get smacked around tonight and that would keep Pitt from pursuing this guy

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:59 pm

Report: FIU's Cristobal is 'frontrunner' for Pitt

Hey souperman, you must spend too much time alone in your bedroom to believe Fickell or any assistant would be better off with the lackluster OSU program than being the head coach at Pitt.  The football tradition of the schools is about even but Pitt does not violate every other rule in the book to succeed. Also, Pitt probably has a higher rating as a University...scholastically, as a research center, and a medical school that is exceptional.

Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:08 pm

Report: FIU's Cristobal 'front-runner' for Pitt

Gee, why not just leave FIU and text the team right before the bowl game starts tonight? 

Since: Dec 8, 2011
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:25 am

Report: FIU's Cristobal 'front-runner' for Pitt

As a prime time handicapper- when rumors flare about coaches leaving for another school - the team loses ! Go Thundering Herd! 

Since: Jan 19, 2008
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:02 am

Report: FIU's Cristobal 'front-runner' for Pitt

In my opinion, Fickell would do well to stay on as a coordinator under Urban Meyer at OSU. Despite the 6-6 record, Fickell's reputation around Ohio has only been enhanced by what is pretty much universally regarded as a classy performance in a difficult situation. While no one can foretell the future, it appears that the Meyer is poised for success, and sooner rather than later. As a coordinator and assistant head coach, Fickell might be able to land an even better position--and one with fewer downside risks--in a few years. Or Meyer might decide to call it quits for real after the end of this contract, in which case Fickell would be poised to take over the head coaching position on a permanent basis. I don't blame him for looking hard at this position, but I hope that he sticks around OSU. In the long run it could be a better career move.

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