Sunday, December 22, 2013

Preview! Preview! The legacy of quick Pitt Coaching triggers

Coaching at Pitt has been a little messy since the last 80s.

Pitt had been a dominant football program under Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill.  Just seems to me that Pitt is always trying to recapture that greatness, and it has resulted in them giving up on some pretty good situations...not unlike the Cincinnati Reds, who spent 20 years trying to rebuild the Big Red Machine.

They fired Foge Fazio for winning 58% of this games and then fired Mike Gottfried after he won 62%.  They hired Walt Harris and he did worse than both of them, winning only 54% of his games and he was gone, too.

Next they brought in Dave Wannstedt, a pro coach and local boy who there was tremendous optimism about.  In this 4th and 5th seasons he had big years but he was 7-5 in his 6th year and they fired him, too with a 58% record.

Things only got worse.  They brought in Todd Graham.  He went 6-6 and then HE LEFT THEM, oh yeah, in the middle of the night, with a text message to his players.

Todd Graham on twitter in Az State tie
shortly after leaving Pittt in the middle
of the night
They hired Mike Haywood from Miami (the coach of the fog bowl game at the Doyt), but before he could start he was charged with domestic violence in South Bend and was let go by Pitt.  They then went out and got Paul Chryst, a respected assistant at Wisconsin.

I suspect somewhere in there Dave Wannstedt and Mike Gottfried started to look pretty good.

Anyway, Chryst was 6-7 last year and 6-6 this year.  I don't know, but I get the sense that Pitt has grown up a little bit and decided to live in the present, so they aren't expecting world-beating results.  They are now an ACC team...the ACC is certainly tougher than the old Big East was, even if it is the weakest BCS conference.

Chryst played like a dozen true freshman this year.  That tells me he is recruiting the kind of players who can turn the program around in a sustainable way.  With the recruiting talent there, there is no reason for Pitt not to be good every season if they would just give up on being great every season.

No comments :