His staff complete, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi can relax and travel to the ESPN HQ in Bristol, Conn., on Monday to sit down with his fellow head coaches and do what he loves almost as much as dinner with his family: Watch and talk football.
For the second year in a row, Narduzzi is part of ESPN’s Film Room segment that will be shown on ESPN2 during the national championship game between Alabama and Clemson.
He will be joined by ESPN analysts Brian Griese and Chris Spielman and coaches Larry Fedora of North Carolina, Jim McElwain of Florida, Will Muschamp of South Carolina and Willie Taggart of South Florida.
“There’s nothing better than talking football,” he said. “That’s what we do. Half of me says, `What am I doing?’ and other half says, `It will be fun.’ ”
The coaches will offer analysis and opinion as the game progresses. A year ago, when Ohio State was playing Oregon, Narduzzi was on the panel when the conversation turned to the possibility of one of Ohio State three quarterbacks transferring and what school might be interested.
Narduzzi was joking when he sheepishly raised his hand, but he nonetheless was in the market for a quarterback — even though no one knew it at the time. A month later, Nathan Peterman transferred from Tennessee to Pitt.
The hiring of offensive coordinator Matt Canada means Tim Salem will return to his duties as Pitt’s tight ends coach after calling plays in the Military Bowl.
Salem was a candidate for the OC job, and Narduzzi said the two of them spoke often in the past month. He also expanded his search in other directions.
“I did my homework throughout the process,” Narduzzi said. “I talked to a couple very qualified people from around the country.”
Narduzzi seemed focused on Canada.
“When (former coordinator Jim) Chaney left, I said we are going to get a guy as good or better,” he said. “Mission accomplished there.”
For more talk about Pitt’s new OC and other topics, listen here to “The Kevin Gorman Show” on TribLive Radio. Trib high school writer Chris Harlan and myself contribute.
Safety Jevonte Pitts, who will graduate before next season, will not return to the team and will become the sixth underclassman to leave since the end of the season.