Big Lead Sports Bar


With Wannstedt Fired, Who's Next to Coach Pitt?

As per the PG, Dave Wannstedt has been shown the door at his alma mater, and despite his likability as a person, I think it's the right move for the university. Six years is a honeymoon that wouldn't have been afforded at many other schools, and expectations were too high this season for this team to fall so flat, especially so many times on national television.

But the question at a time like this: Who do you hire next? A few names after the jump:

Based on what I've read and heard, here is a compilation of names people have brought up for the Pitt job, ranging from the realistic to the unrealistic, and in no particular order:

Rich Rodriguez, Michigan HC
Mike Leach, former Texas Tech HC
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State HC
Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern HC
John Fox, Carolina Panthers HC
Kevin Sumlin, Houston HC
Bronco Mendenhall, BYU HC
Todd Graham, Tulsa HC
Michael Haywood, Miami (OH) HC
Tom Bradley, Penn State DC
Russ Grimm, Arizona Cardinals Assistant Coach/OL coach
Al Golden, Temple HC
Teryl Austin, Florida DC
Frank Cignetti, Pitt OC
Gus Malzahn, Auburn OC
Bryan Harsin, Boise State OC
Paul Chryst, Wisconsin OC
Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State DC
Jim McElwain, Alabama OC
Dana Holgorsen, Oklahoma State OC
Tyrone Nix, Ole Miss DC
Manny Diaz, Mississippi State DC
and for amusement's sake, as someone suggested on The Fan but has no chance of happening....
Bill Cowher, former Steelers HC.

Pitt AD Steve Pederson could go in many directions: NFL re-tread, up-and-coming big-school coordinator, NFL coordinator, pilfering a smaller college program's coach, etc. But given the school's status as a BCS- qualified program, Pederson's phone should be ringing off the hook with potential candidates. 

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc):


BURGH08 said...

Props to the administration to not accept the current state of the program, and be willing to reach outside of what could be comfortable to them and/or bypassing the extension they gave him.

It may pay off, may not, but I'm surprised they had the guts to move forward.

Unknown said...

If Pederson hires Rich Rod I'll cry... for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

They need to thoroughly clean house. No retreads. No inhouse coordinators. And they need someone who will STAY! Not someone who is using Pitt as a stepping stone. So that means no up and coming stars from smaller schools.

Here are my suggestions...

Yogi Roth
Al Golden
Sal Sunseri
Jon Gruden
Russ Grimm
Turner Gill

BURGH08 said...

That list needs Johnny Majors III added.

BURGH08 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Sumlin turned down the Cincinnati job. Doesn't see the Big East as a big jump from Houston.

A lot of names are actually ridiculous. I doubt I'd ever see Cowher doing college. Gruden (like Cowher) will be an NFL coaching candidate and won't go back to the college ranks.

BluDvls79 is a trip. Doesn't want someone who will use it as a stepping stone, then uses Turner Gill and Jon Gruden as examples. Both are coaches that would jump if they were good enough to get an offer (and I think Gill is already out of his element in a BCS conference school).

Russ Grimm would be a nice addition if he can get two quality coordinators.

potus said...

Russ Grimm probably still has his sights on an NFL position, especially after his percieved bad treatment when Cowher left. Even if Pitt could land him, it would be a stepping stone.

And Pitt fans need to face facts, Pitt is a stepping stone position right now in football. Wanny was a long term candidate, and we know what he did. If there is going to be a major upgrade in the program it will come from an up and comer that wants to prove himself, get to a few BCS Bowls, and then head to greener pastures and bigger paydays. There are very few programs in college football these days that can offer a potential long term position that a HC sees himself in for a while.

Other than a potential BCS bowl birth, what does the Pitt program have to offer to a potential new HC that would keep him around for longer than until the next offer comes? A mediocre program in a less than mediocre conference? Very little tradition over the past 20 years? Playing infront of 30,000 fans (and near sell outs for the biggest rivals)?

The one thing Pitt does have is a history of talented players without good team results. This is a perfect storm for a coach that wants to make a name for himself.

Anonymous said...

Grimm can't coach on the college level, he never recieved his degree, per NCAA rules you have to have a degree to coach.

I agree Pitt is the perfect storm for a coach that wants to make a name for himself. Pitt is an attractive job, if they win people will follow, the city is an attractive selling point to college recruits but Pitt is going to have to pay to keep the right guy.

Anonymous said...

Its sad that all the names I like on this list have almost no chance of taking the job.

Dallas Mike said...

@ potus - thank you for bringing a realistic perspective with regard to the prospects of a long term coach in college football. Completely on point and very well said.

I admire some of the optimism from the Pitt community regarding the search, but to think that Pitt is a final destination job is misguided. To secure and retain top talent in college coaching, it will take between $2.5 - $4M per year. Pitt just recently broke the $1M barrier for Wannstedt. In the absence of spending on a proven commodity, the administration can go after a young gun who is looking to kill himself to get that premier job (see Brian Kelly). The philosophy seemed to work fairly well for the basketball program, and Howland utilized Pitt as a "stepping stone" job. I don't know if anyone can honestly consider a Big East job a final destination because most of the schools have never shown the willingness to pay coaches top dollar in the market. No self-respecting successful person is going to stay long term and accept a below market salary when the SEC, Big 12, and Big 10 will offer 1.5x to 2x their current value. That's just business.

BURGH08 said...

I could argue that Pitt is a 'destination job', it's just I don't see why that's a priority. I'm more than willing to have a coach use Pitt for the proverbial 'stepping stone'. It means he had enough success to earn the right to move on.

Howland used Pitt as a stepping stone. Dixon's destination is at Pitt if you look at the years he has spent here. Haven't missed a beat in terms of success.

I don't buy that the right candidate would leave to get this bigger payday at another conference. It depends on the team. Notre Dame is a top job in the realm of sports, not just college football, so the Kelly comparison isn't valid IMO.

I also wouldn't paint with broad brush when it comes to other conferences paying money that the
Big East couldn't, or even know if that's a vaild argument. For every Ohio State and Michigan, you have a Purdue and Indiana. For every Florida and Alabama you have a Vanderbilt and Kentucky, who respectively plucked their most recent head coaches from Furman and an internal hire within KU. Not exactly raiding another program's coaches in those instances.

Some of the perceptions really isn't reality.

Unknown said...

A more realistic target would be Chuck Martin, DB coach and newly crowned recruiting coordinator at Notre Dame. He's not a flashy name but a real strong candidate for a job like Pitt. May stick around too.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

I don't want Russ Grimm.... at all... unless we want more Wanny-ball.

Sorry, I love Russ, but he doesn't exactly inspire thoughts of innovation when it comes to offense.

Just hire a non-BCS head coach or an up and coming coordinator.

Then, in 4 years if he sucks, everyone can bitch about how much more they liked Wanny, like people do now with Walt Harris.

Bababooey said...

Remember, Wanny had Pitt back in the top 10 before the team sleepwalked through the WVU game last year and blew a 21 point lead to Cincy. If they would’ve won the games they should have won last year, they would’ve gone undefeated, gone to a BCS bowl, and Wanny would have his job. In a terrible Big East, all Pitt has to do is win the games they’re supposed to win. Even this year, after blowing their non conference schedule, they had a two game lead in the Big East and squandered it by losing to Connecticut, and not showing up for WVU. One more win in the past three seasons and Wannstedt keeps his job. It’s that simple.

Pitts dead , why would a serious football coach want to go to the Big East unless hes just trying to move on to a more competitive conference? I think if they get a coach that has some success & wins a big east title or 2 he will be gone at the first offer he gets.

BURGH08 said...

Wanny is a warrior.

Bababooey said...

Burgh08 is a warrior.

BURGH08 said...

Only for another year or two. Using the title as a stepping stone for now.

So tell me what do you define as a 'serious football coach'?