Posted on: December 16, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 12:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
There's a lot to blame Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson for where the discombobulated state of his football program is concerned. But at least it sounds like he's got a plan in the wake of Todd Graham's stunning departure.
And according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the first name mentioned as part of that plan is Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads. The Post-Gazette reported Friday that Rhoads "appears to be the most coveted of the group [of potential candidates] as ... Pederson and chancellor Mark Nordenberg like and respect him and think he is an excellent football coach."
A former Panther defensive coordinator under Dave Wannstedt who spent eight seasons on the Pitt staff, Rhoads declined to speak to Pederson following Wannstedt's firing in 2010 out of loyalty to the Cyclones. But "according to two people close to Rhoads" who spoke to the Post-Gaztte, this time around Rhoads would be willing to sit down with Pitt and "likely will talk with the administration" regarding the opening.
UPDATE, 12:45 ET: Actually, you can probably forget the Rhoads talk; ISU announced Friday that Rhoads had signed a 10-year contract extension with the school.
With Rhoads presumably off the table, the focus will turn towards who the Post-Gazette reports is also on the Panthers' potential list of candidates: Ohio State assistant/2010 head coach Luke Fickell, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, Northern Illinois head coach Dave Doeren and former Illinois and Florida head coach Ron Zook. Pederson reportedly feels strongly enough in that pool of candidates that the school is forgoing the use of a search committee.
Fickell has reportedly already interviewed, with Chryst due to interview this Saturday. Given the upheaval around him in Columbus, Fickell may be the leading candidate until further notice.
Posted on: September 16, 2011 11:24 pm
Edited on: September 16, 2011 11:34 pm
Posted by Bryan Fischer
Big East schools Syracuse and Pittsburgh are in talks with the ACC to join the conference, according to the New York Times.
Officials from each school and both conferences denied the discussions were taking place to the Times and did not offer a comment.
Syracuse is a founding member of the Big East and Pitt has been in the league since 1982. The ACC has already raided the Big East once before, adding Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech in 2004. Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg was instrumental in keeping the league together following the three schools departure.
“We’ve been dealing with the fluidity of the conference landscape on multiple levels for a week,” Amy Yakola, the ACC.’s associate commissioner for public relations and marketing told the Times, “and at this point we wouldn’t be able to comment on speculation.”
Reports surfaced earlier in the week that the ACC might be a possible landing spot for Texas as well, should the Big 12 fall apart with the departures of Texas A&M to the SEC and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the Pac-12.
Posted on: January 1, 2011 5:58 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
Less than 24 hours after news of the Mike Haywood arrest on domestic violence charges came out, Pittsburgh has responded in really the only sensible way possible by firing Haywood. Here's the full statement released by Pittsburgh chancellor Mark Nordenberg today:
“After careful consideration of recent events, the University of Pittsburgh has dismissed Michael Haywood as its head football coach, effective immediately. He was advised of that action this afternoon.
“To be clear, the University’s decision is not tied to any expectation with respect to the terms on which the legal proceeding now pending in Indiana might ultimately be concluded. Instead, it reflects a strong belief that moving forward with Mr. Haywood as our head coach is not possible under the existing circumstances.
This is a matter of real regret for the many people at Pitt who had looked forward to working with him. However, head coaches are among the University’s most visible representatives and are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct and to avoid situations that might reflect negatively on the University.
“We will immediately re-open our search for a head football coach, expanding the process to include a larger pool of candidates. Our goal is to move swiftly, but prudently, to find the right person to successfully lead the Pitt football program for what we hope will be an extended period of time.”