Tag:Pitt
Posted on: December 17, 2010 12:59 pm
 

Pitt not sure who's going to coach Pitt in bowl

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mike Haywood was officially introduced as the head coach at Pitt yesterday, and won the press conference with his promise to make the Panthers a more disciplined, more unified team.

But as for winning the Panthers' BBVA Compass Bowl game against Kentucky, Haywood didn't have much to say about that, because he's not coaching the game. Dismissed coach Dave Wannstedt is, right?

Maybe not (emphasis added):
[Athletic director Steve] Pederson made it clear that although Haywood has been hired, the Panthers are Wannstedt's team until after the BBVA Compass Bowl Jan. 8. Wannstedt, forced to resign last week, has yet to decide whether he will coach the Panthers in that game.
So, just to be clear, let's review the Panthers' bowl-coaching options:

1. Dave Wannstedt. May not coach in the bowl.

2. Mike Haywood. Will not coach in the bowl.

3. ?????????.

OK, so behind door No. 3 is almost certainly one of the current Wannstedt assistants -- defensive coordinator Phil Bennett even has head coaching experience from his days at SMU -- but even for a Jan. 8 bowl, practice must start within days. If Wannstedt himself doesn't take the helm, someone has to.

If Pederson wants this blogger's nickel's worth of free advice, Wannstedt's ambivalence about remaining in charge ought to indicate -- all by itself -- that he probably shouldn't be the guy in charge. It's a well-meaning gesture on Pederson's part to let him leave the job with some kind of dignity, but if a gesture he's not interested in accepting, it's time to move on. The Panthers' disappointing season and occasionally aimless-looking coaching search has already made Pitt look bad; an uninspired, unfocused, unprepared loss to a .500 Kentucky team will only make them look worse.

HT: TSK .

Posted on: December 15, 2010 8:36 pm
 

Report: Pitt hires Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood

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.


Posted on: December 15, 2010 11:57 am
 

Mike Haywood seems to be Pitt's next target

Posted by Tom Fornelli

So you've asked the prettiest girl in class to go to the dance with you, and she said yes.  You're excited.  Today is the day of the dance, and you've got yourself a nice new suit, a haircut and you're wearing some generic knockoff of a very expensive cologne.  You are ready to rock her world, but there's a problem.  You go to pick her up in your mom's car, and when you get to her house her parents told you she's already left for the dance with the kid who lives down the street from you.

"But he already has a girlfriend," you yell, tears already beginning to form in your eyes.

Dejected, you get back into the car.  You have two options now.  You can feel sorry for yourself, go home and cry yourself to sleep, or you can go to that dance, find any other girl there and show her the time of her life.  All while little Dana Ditchedyou stands and watches you.  So what are you going to do?

Well, it looks like Pitt has chosen the latter.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Miami (OH) head coach Mike Haywood was on campus on Tuesday to interview for the head coaching job a day after Dana Holgorsen spurned Pitt for West Virginia.
Officially the job has not been offered to Haywood - officially - but he is in Pittsburgh and from everything I can tell based on who I have talked to this morning, he is the first candidate that has actually been brought to campus and it is likely he is now fully in the crosshairs of this thing.
So stay tuned, you, meaning Pitt fans, could have a coach in place shortly.

Haywood went 1-11 in his first season at Miami in 2009, but the Redhawks went 8-4 this season to win the MAC East, and defeated Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship game.
Posted on: December 13, 2010 2:10 pm
Edited on: December 13, 2010 5:01 pm
 

Gus Malzahn staying at Auburn

Posted by Tom Fornelli

UPDATE: Auburn has confirmed that Malzahn will be staying at the school, and he's gotten himself a raise and a contract extension to boot.

It looks like there is more to life than money after all.  

After reports surfaced over the weekend that Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had accepted an offer that would pay him $3 million a year to be the new head coach at Vanderbilt -- reports that later became the offer has been made but Malzahn hadn't accepted anything -- it looks like Malzahn will be staying at Auburn for at least another season.

However, after contacting the Auburn athletic department, the school could neither confirm or deny that this report is accurate.

Obviously, if the report is correct, this is a bit of a blow to Vanderbilt, who seemed to think that Malzahn was coming.  Or, at the least, was really hoping he would come. Instead the Commodores will have to turn their attention elsewhere, perhaps to Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin.

On the flip side, this is good news for Auburn and Gene Chizik.  Not having Cam Newton in 2011 would be a big enough obstacle to overcome, and losing the mastermind behind the Auburn offensive attack would have only made things worse.  Of course, just because Malzahn has turned down Vanderbilt, that doesn't mean it's a certainty he'll be back at Auburn next season.  After all, there are other coaching vacancies out there, and it's obvious that becoming a head coach is Malzahn's ultimate goal.

The question at this point becomes does the Pitt job hold any appeal to him, or will he prefer to stay at Auburn for another season and see what opens up next year.
Posted on: December 11, 2010 1:32 pm
 

Kentucky suspends Hartline for Compass Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well, something tells me this isn't how Kentucky quarterback Mike Hartline saw his collegiate career coming to an end, but he made his bed, and now he'll be lying in it instead of playing in a bowl game.  Hartline was arrested early Friday morning for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and failure to notify the department of transportation on an address change.  Now, a day later, his head coach announced that he'll be suspending Hartline -- a fifth year senior -- for Kentucky's appearance against Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

"Mike Hartline has had a good record here, conduct-wise, and I regret this," Joker Phillips told the media after practice on Saturday. "I regret that this happened, but it did. I really hate that it happened because of what he's done for us this year in leading this program to our fifth-straight bowl. He's done a great job at that, but we have clear expectations our players, how we want them to act, how we want them to behave."

Phillips also said that Hartline will be allowed to be with the team in Birmingham for the bowl game if he wants to go.

As for who will replace Hartline, who has started all 12 Kentucky games at quarterback this season, it looks like the job will go to sophomore Morgan Newton.  
Posted on: December 10, 2010 12:39 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 12:40 pm
 

The Wannstache doesn't shave off that easily

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If you saw Dave Wannstedt's press conference to announce his resignation at Pitt earlier this week, the impression you got was likely that he couldn't wait to get out of that school fast enough.  It was either that or he was afraid he'd break down in tears if he talked too long, and nobody wants to see a mustache that glorious stained by tears.

Well, it's starting to look like it may have been the latter, as Wannstedt has reportedly made a decision about what he's going to do for Pitt's bowl game. Job or no job, that mustache will be leading his team into Birmingham.
In the days since the announcement that Wannstedt would no longer be the Panthers' head coach, multiple sources told PantherLair.com that Wannstedt planned to lead the Panthers in the BBVA Compass Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., on January 8. 
On Thursday, defensive coordinator Phil Bennett said as much during a press conference in Birmingham to promote Pitt's bowl matchup against Kentucky. Wannstedt did not make the trip to Birmingham. 

Not really a surprising decision since Wannstedt will be staying on at Pitt as a special assistant to athletic director Steve Pederson.  What exactly that entails, I have no idea.  Maybe Wanny will drive Pederson around in his Camaro or give him grooming tips.
Posted on: December 9, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2010 6:33 pm
 

Holgorsen and Rhoads mentioned for Pitt job

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It's been a few days since Dave Wannstedt "resigned" from his position as head coach at Pitt before giving one of the shortest press conferences in history, and it seems that the school has already gotten started searching for its next head coach.  A couple of names that have popped up early are Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen and Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads (pictured).

Holgorsen's name came up as a candidate in a few reports, but if Pitt is planning on interviewing him, he doesn't know it yet.  Holgorsen told NewsOk.com that he hasn't been contacted by Pitt about the job, and when he was asked about whether he'd have any interest in the gig, he told the site that he is "pretty happy where I am at."

Still, just because he hasn't been contacted yet doesn't mean that Pitt has no plans on getting in touch with him.

There's also Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, who served as defensive coordinator at Pitt from 2000-2007 before leaving to take his current job in Ames.  It's only natural that his name would come up given his history with the school.  While it's likely that Pitt will reach out to Rhoads at some point, as of now, it's unknown whether or they have as of this time.
Posted on: December 8, 2010 11:41 am
Edited on: December 8, 2010 5:03 pm
 

Jonathan Baldwin is going pro

Posted by Tom Fornelli

It seems that head coach isn't the only position that Pitt is going to have to replace next season.  Now that Dave Wannstedt has resigned, it seems Jonathan Baldwin's decision about what to do next year has become a lot easier.  Word was that the wide receiver had been leaning towards leaving Pitt for the NFL following his junior season, but now that he's faced with the prospect of having to play under a new head coach, that decision has been made a lot easier.
In fact, if you read what Baldwin told CBSSports' Chris Steuber, it sounds like he can't get out of Pitt fast enough.
Reached through text message Tuesday evening and asked if it was safe to say he would forego his senior year with Wannstedt stepping down, Baldwin responded, "No, it's not safe to say that. It doesn't change my quarterback!"
At first, it sounded as if Baldwin was non-committal on his future, but when asked, "Why would you stay [for your senior season] when you have no chemistry with QB Tino Sunseri, a new coach/system taking over next season and possibly hurt your draft stock for the 2012 draft, Baldwin clarified, "Oh, I misunderstood you ... Heck yeah I'm leaving. It can only get worse. They had me running a lot of deep routes [this year] and yards were hard to come by. I barely ran intermediate routes; it felt like they were purposely trying to disrupt my draft stock."

So to be clear, Baldwin has no problem throwing Tino Sunseri under the bus, and he believes there was a conspiracy theory amongst his own coaching staff to hurt his draft stock and get him to stay for his senior season.  He should fit in perfectly with NFL wide receivers.

Baldwin has 52 receptions for 810 yards and five touchdowns this season.
 
 
 
 
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