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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Graham makes everyone look smart … but him

Todd Graham has bolted Pitt for Arizona State, and he apparently took a high-octane jet out of town.

Those who have been with me for a while might recall I wrote something the day he was hired — I was at the introductory news conference — about how all his me-me-me and reinventing-the-game nonsense reminded me of when the Pirates hired Jim Tracy. Well, the mail and the angry tweets and blog comments came, mostly from Pitt fans. Before long, though, I wasn’t alone on this. The more exposure Graham got, especially once the actual football started, the less people seemed to like him.

And the guy sent a test message to his players during his high-octane escape!

Oh, well.

What now?

The guy that needs to answer some hard questions now is Steve Pederson. That’s two totally blown hires in less than a calendar year, and it’s only the most important hire any major college AD needs to make. And by answering questions, I’m not talking about questions from people like me. I’m talking about Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg. The chancellor stood by Pederson last winter following the Mike Haywood fiasco, but it’s going to be a heck of a lot tougher now.

All kinds of names already are bouncing around the fan base. Usually, I’m one to laugh off that a coach needs to be homegrown or have some connection to a franchise or institution. Not this time. What Pitt needs is a Pitt or at least a Pittsburgh guy. They need to engender trust, in the community, in their recruiting process and in the student-athletes who right now are venting all over Twitter.

“So this is the Pitt way?” linebacker Brandon Lindsey just tweeted.

You can come up with one whale of a list of eminently qualified candidates. Me, I’ll take Dave Wannstedt for AD, Russ Grimm for coach.


  1. TJA says:

    I just heard someone ask if Jamie Dixon can coach two sports? Man, what mess at Pitt. What a mess college sports has become…

  2. Dan says:

    Recruiting wise: I’d expect Chad Voytik to de-commit unless he’s guaranteed the job by the new coach. Rushel Shell may be a Buckeye when all is said and done.

  3. Nate says:

    If they aren’t going to hire a Pitt/Pittsburgh guy as head coach, at least populate the staff with Pitt guys. There needs to be some local ties, esp. since a lot of the recruiting is done by the assistants.

  4. TMAC says:

    TOTALLY agree with Wannstedt as AD & Grimm as head coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. ddom says:

    I LOVE the Dave Wannstedt for AD idea. Does anyone have a good reason for why not?

  6. Steve says:

    High Octane escape! I supported Graham and thought he had a good future at Pitt despite the poor results this season. What a jerk he is to turn his back on Pitt and leave after one season. pederson has to be on the hot seat at this point after Haywood and now this mess. I don’t think the next hire has to be a “Pitt Man.” That didn’t work out so well the last time.

  7. sjb says:

    I don’t have a reason for why not Wannstedt but I bet he has several.

  8. TJA says:

    Very interesting on the D.W. idea…. Dave is a Pittsburgh guy who loves this city and this university. If we recall when he left was dismissed, whatever you want to call it…he said..”I am Pitt guy and will ALWAYS be a Pitt guy”. Again, what an interesting thought. Also, maybe they need to get some high profile guys like Ditka, Dorsett, Marino, etc., on board in some way shape or form. Just to get their input.

  9. sjb says:

    While we’re throwing out ex-Pitt players how about Dan Marino for AD, Mike Ditka for coach. lol

  10. Milo Hamilton says:

    Steve Pederson must be gone by the close of business today.

  11. JACK says:

    OK we all know Tom Bradley is not going to get the PSU job. Now’s the time. A ‘Burgher, great recruiter, loyal. I just hope the schrapnel from Unhappy Valley does not derail any hope that he may have to get the job. Thoughts?

  12. 21sthebest says:

    I thought that Grimm was precluded from being Pitt’s head coach because he doesn’t have a college degree.

  13. Craig says:

    The trouble is that “Pitt” guys tend to favor the Pittburgh ol’ boy network and the best players don’t necessarily start. Tyler Palko and Tino Sunseri over Joe Flaco and Pat Bostick are the easiest to name but it happens all over the roster. I go for Tom Bradley as he will not be at Penn State after their bowl game and he’s expressed interest in the Pitt posttion. He is a Pittsburgh guy but not a Pitt guy. And he can recruit. This also shows that moving to the ACC has done little to improve Pitt’s image in the coaching circles.

  14. leefoo says:

    This can be interpreted as a good thing. I don’t think Graham would’ve ever turned them around.

    Hopefully, they’ll get someone good before the recruits start leaving.

    Unlike PSU………


  15. Joe D says:

    I like Wanny for AD… he would be great..

    HC prospects, Sal Sunseri… Stoops of Florida… Babich of the Bears (quip and coached at pitt)…

    No to Grimm… sorry, he is not college HC material.. and dumb dumb dumb… knew him frosh year at Pitt.

  16. Mugs says:

    And Mike Leach & Jim Tressel are unavailable! Is Cowher looking for another day job? How about Michel Therrien? Wow… another local misfire into the books. Reminds me of way-back-when the Steelers traded Buddy Dial to the Cowboys for the rights to talk to Scott Appleton.

  17. Mike says:

    I think Tom Bradley would make a great coach. I also believe Bradley is the one guy who could come in and saves some of the recruits, like Rushel Shell

  18. Jim says:

    Wannstedt for AD
    Tom Bradley for Head Football Coach

  19. Todd says:

    Joe Paterno is available…

  20. Jay Bird says:

    What a debacle this puts Pitt into! Not only should Peterson should be fired but it is unlikely that Norenburg would be! But we will take Peterson firing as a trade off. coach! PERIOD!! As President Harry Truman once said: ” If you stand the heat in the kitchen get the HELL out”

    He DID didn’t he!!!!!!!!!!

  21. dcpinpgh says:

    If i was Jamie Dixon, I would walk into the AD office and ask for a raise.

  22. sjb says:

    “I thought that Grimm was precluded from being Pitt’s head coach because he doesn’t have a college degree.”

    What a inconsequential reason. Yup, everyone knows a liberal arts or political science degree is mandatory to coach a football team. If I had to come up with one profession that a college degree would not be mandatory, it would be football coach…that and dish washer.

  23. Steve says:

    As a WVU fan I’ve always respected Pitt as a rival and honestly hate to see this go on at Pitt. The guy that wrote this article is right, Pitt needs a Pitt guy now and nothing else. Dave Wannstedt would have never left Pitt like this. He was trying to build something there. Just a Mountaineer’s opinion.

  24. Ronald says:

    Grimm & Wanny….I like it, but good luck luring those guys back here.

  25. TOME says:

    Graham is a coward; doesn’t have the integrity to face his players. That is what he REALY thinks of them.

  26. If I was as bad at my job as Steve Pederson has been at his, I would be selling Post-Gazettes——I mean, Tribs——on the local street corner.

    His last three major hires have been Bill Callahan, push-your-not-wife/girlfriend Haywood, and Mr. Tell-the-Truth Todd Graham.

    Talk about a square peg in a round hole job of being Athletic Director.

    I guess “High Octane” really meant “Quick Getaway!!!”

    I can’t figure who I can’t stand more: Todd Graham or Steve Pederson.

  27. Milo Hamilton says:

    I would caption this picture – Leaving On A Jetplane.!/D_Street_15/status/147040290367209473/photo/1

    God, I miss Penni already.

  28. TommyA says:

    How ’bout getting the secret formula from the Rooney’s on how to hire a football coach? Also, how ’bout interviewing some of the coaches from D-II and D-III programs that have dominated for the last 5+ years? It seems they would be less reluctant to leave for greener pastures. Just a thought.

  29. Dave says:

    We really have to get a Pitt guy. None Pittsburgh folks don’t understand this town. I don’t think they can handle the pressure of an educated fan base and media. If they can handle it and they are not from Pittsburgh they will be gone in no time. I would welcome Grimm in a second. I don’t think I would want Sal. Got no problem in bringing Wanny back as something. They better get on it quick or they won’t hold onto one recruit. T.G. Sucks.

  30. Milo Hamilton says:

    Guess not.

  31. Rich says:

    Well, another fine hire by Pederson. He needs to be fired, no question about it. His two bust hires, especially Graham could have a very negative effect on the program, what of Voytik and Shell now? I like the Wannstedt for AD and Grimm for coach solution, it just might convince recruits like Voytik and Shell to stick around.
    Now lets get to Graham a little further. There is one word sums him up and that word is COWARD. Things get a little hot under the collar, he doesn’t deliver what he promises, and then he bolts? He didn’t even have the decency to face his players and tell them personally, a text message? C’mon. It’s been a dream of his to coach at AZ. State, if I’m not mistaken did he not say that Pitt was his “dream job”? He preaches about the team being part of his family, then he abandons them? My only regret is that Pederson wasn’t on that plane with him on his way out of town.

  32. Bizrow says:

    Pederson news conference at 5:30

    Hope he has his top hat and dancing cane with him.

    Any rumor Pederson is related in some way to the BMTIB?

    Not to be critical

  33. john punola says:

    I am a ex-Pittsburgher now living in NJ, and I was shocked at the sudden departure of coach Graham, good riddance I just hope the Pitt leaders move swiftly and hire a notable coach ASAP and maybe same some of the excellent recruiting class now in place Somewhere there is a high calibre, spread offense coach that is looking for a leap forward I was thinking Bradley from PSU

  34. JLB says:

    Why would Graham leave so soon? Will he tell the other fraternity of coaches (off the record of course) that he was crazy to go there in the first place…. Too much meddling by former PITT players, admin and alum….. Being critized internally for not giving a former star’s kid more breaks than he deserved….. Tired of all of the proviancialism….. Graham would have been given a free pass if he finished 10-2. Now that he is 6-6 with nowhere to go, PITT would have fired him next year anyway. Time to interview Dorsett, Marino, Congemi, Trocano and…… Sunseri. Now, QB Sunseri won’t transfer if he plays for a former player, or better yet- his father. Wannsteat was fired for not winning. Pederson should be fired for not vetting. “Outsiders” won’t come here now. Bradley won’t come either- unless PITT wants to assist in neutering Penn State’s recruiting for the next 5-10 years.

  35. panther fan says:

    Good riddance Graham, don’t let the door hit you in the backside. Now let’s get that moron Pederson out of there and move on. Pederson is KILLING Pitt- exactly like he did Nebraska. get Wannestedt back to Pitt and go from there.

  36. Sam S says:

    Graham was a bum from the word GO, and most of you in Pgh bought his shtick. I’d bet the players are happy to see old “Mister, blame the players” is gone. I find it interesting that no players have come forward in support of him as they did Wanny. maybe the REAL problem at Pitt is the AD? He was disliked the first time around, and Pitt came back for more for a second 2nd time. As someone mentioned, Pederson’s last 3 hires were Callahan, Haygood, and Graham – quite a track record! Here’s an idea, hire Pat Hill from Fresno St. He got screwed there! At least, he will display some ethics, character, and loyalty – even though he’s not a Pitt guy!

  37. TJA says:

    Anyone get the feeling that Todd Graham’s wife did not want him to take the job in the first place? Anyone recall that he stated at his introductory press conference that…and I may not be getting this exactly…that he “had to talk her into making the move to Pittsburgh”…or something to that effect. Above all else…Pittsburgh is our hometown and we are proud of it. If someone doesn’t like our city…so long!

  38. scott says:

    hey i think he is a coward for leaving these kids hangin in the air with out a pairashute and now i think we need a western to step in and take the raines

  39. Edcamp says:

    Need a winner and a Pittsburgh guy? Hire Art Walker now!!

  40. aglebagel says:

    I’m a college graduate and firm believer in the value of education, but it kind of cracks me up to hear that a coach of an NCAA team these days would be required to have a college degree. I mean seriously, how much time to these guys spend tutoring?!

  41. Pantherman13 says:

    So what exact qualifications for AD does Wannstedt have? Yes, up until this past year, he appeared to be a good ambassador for the school. But does he have the organizational, business and personal skills to be a good AD? I don’t see anything in his past that indicates that he would be much more than a good figurehead.

    As for Grimm, I think there are better candidates, even among the “Pitt” guys, that don’t come with the baggage that Grimm is rumored to carry.

  42. CWalton_67 says:

    Pederson must go. The only question is how long it takes Mark Nordenberg to get him out of town.

    Have to respectfully disagree on the Wanny for AD idea. Can’t see any good coming from that. That said, I love the idea of Russ Grimm getting a shot. And someone above mentioned getting Pitt football greats like Marino, Dorsett, and Ditka involved in the search for a new coach–great idea.

    Marino for AD? Hmmmm.

  43. Milo Hamilton says:

    Joe Schad just reported that Graham asked Pederson for permission to talk to ASU. Permission was denied. He quit three hours later.

  44. Danny Plainview says:

    We all got snookered by a used car salesman.

  45. TBK says:

    Nordenberg and Peterson should go. They are both involved in a cover-up…details coming soon!!!!

  46. Maddox says:

    The reasons not to bring back Wanny are the same reasons that he had to go – he’s a mediocre at best college HC, who plays predicatble, leather-helmet-era, play-not-to-win football that doesn’t cut it in modern CFB anymore. I don’t give a crap how many players he put in the NFL, he couldn’t coach on the field and couldn’t motivate his players.

    The decision that was made last year to bring in a college coach with a faster, more modern style of play to Pitt is still the right one if we want to compete with schools who can recruit better. I hope that goal isn’t lost in the wake of the Graham debacle.

    Wannstedt loves Pitt and I wish him well, but his involvement in the program at all would be nothing but a big step backwards. Please, no NFL coaches or pipelines to the pros – get a college guy who can play the college game in an exciting and successful way. Pitt is not going to get a high-profile name, and IMO shouldn’t be paying out the kind of money required to do that. It doesn’t have to be a Pitt guy, and maybe it’s better that it not be. Wanny was too close to the program, and that didn’t work out so well.

  47. Swift Eddie says:

    Realistically, I don’t blame Graham one bit. The environment surrounding Pitt football is dysfunctional, the small fan base is hostile, and there is absolutely nothing that resembles a college atmosphere on game day. Add to that the fact that TG’s family was being subjected to constant harrassment, and you have a formula to force any new coach out of town for greener pastures.

    Given the circumstances, no high-profile candidate will be interested in the job. That having been said, how about Mario Cristobal (Fla. Int.), Ken Niamatulolo (Navy), or Talley from Villanova?

  48. Scott says:

    Honestly if your dream job is at ASU, than good bye. Pitt tradition, and our foothold in some of footballs best breeding grounds, yeah I’d take that over being a Sparky. From the begining this hire seemed rushed (AD) and all about money(TG). Now we know, Pederson wanted to make a splash with scoring after he didn’t do his due diligence with Haywood, Graham really didn’t want to be here, but since money talks, Pitt gets screwed. Makes sense I guess, never trust a WVU guy.

  49. Iitcomes Around says:

    So Pitt folks, too bad about PSU losing their coach – Oh, this is your fourth in how many years. Oh, your recruits are leaving – At least PSU has been competitive the last 15 years.

  50. SCOTT says:

    Maybe we can still get Tom Bradley since he will looking for a job next year.

  51. Pawlik says:

    Very Simple….Listen to the Fans.
    Fire Pederson
    Hire Bradley…..PSU won’t hire him and he will have every good local kid who wants to stay local, go to PITT


  52. dickyp23 says:

    what does this have to do with psu? i’d guess they are both jokes as far as anyone on the outside are concerned

  53. Absolute59 says:

    Milo: The language of the Graham text would seem to support Schad’s version. The text said he resigned to pursue head coaching job at ASU and that he was on his way to Tempe to continue those discussion.

  54. Absolute59 says:

    Sounds like Pitt might have a good tortious interference with contractual relations case against ASU as I find it hard to believe Graham quit before he had talked to ASU about the job.

  55. Hooco01 says:

    Pederson MUST GO. It’s that simple. If he is around after the circus he has caused the past 12 months then Pitt deserves everything they get. What a joke.

  56. Morely Ofthesame says:

    Why does Pitt need a Pitt/Pittsburgh guy as coach? There is one college conference that is the pro league of college football – the SEC. Pitt should be talking to the head coaches at some of the smaller schools in the SEC. Schools who are competitive but will never unseat the big boys in the SEC. Go see if the HC at Vandy or Mississippi St. is interested. A good coach who turns a program into a winner doesn’t have to stick around; the program becomes the draw. Once established, Pitt will have its choice of recruits and coaches. Unless, of course, the AD and/or other school officials screw it up. Pitt was there not so long ago when Majors 1 and Sherril were coaches. Had Pitt made the right hire after Sherril, who knows where Pitt football might be today? Forget loyalty, get a coach who knows how to play and coach winning football. If he happens to come from the toughest conference in college football, all the better!

  57. TommyA says:

    Todd Graham coming to town selling his “high octane” offense reminds me of a famous quote: “Promise little, deliver big!!!!!!” Perhaps TG promised way more than he could deliver considering the circumstances. Only TG knows why he has chosen to move on. It would be nice to get a coach with Pittsburgh ties, but who has the resources to go outside of the “box” when it comes to recruiting. It’d be nice to get someone who can recruit the local kids in addition to competing on a national level for recruits? Might be tough with Urban Meyer just a few hours away? Go Pitt!

  58. Sean says:

    Does anyone feel Graham should be blamed he probably wasn’t looking forward to playing in the powerful (LOL) football conference known as the ACC.

  59. Pedro says:

    technically, Graham did not even send a text message to his players about resigning. He sent a message to the assistant AD that began, “please text this to players please.” As a Pitt alum, I am enraged by the lack of class this guy has, and the lack of respect he showed the kids who play for Pitt, not to mention the entire university. He signed for six years at Rutgers and left after one. I just read that ASU is signing him to a 10-year deal. Might as well sign for a hundred or even a thousand. He’s just as likely to stay for a million years as he is for ten.

  60. Drew71 says:

    Dejan – Good point regarding USUALLY laughing at the typical parochial “We need a Pitt guy” philosophy. And even better point about why that is EXACTLY what is needed now.

  61. Jay Paterno says:

    I heard his wife was tired of going out at night to Pgh’s finest restaurants, Dirty O and Primanti Brothers and Minneo’s Pizza, and did not want kids to grow up dating a big haired Pitt girl..

  62. brad says:

    We need a good football coach like carnel lake……….problem solved

  63. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pederson says neither Graham nor Arizona St. returned his calls. Wish we could say the same about Mark Nordenberg.

  64. Not A Pitt Guy says:

    You PSU fans need to quit talking about revolving door coaches at Pitt compared with your stability. I would take no win seasons and a new coach every year if it meant it would protect kids from alleged pedophiles. Your program is permanently stained by your coaches, AD and administration looking the other way while the defendent had open access to your campus. Your stabile program may have ruined the lives of many kids.

  65. BK says:

    What a mess. I like Grimm, but, I’m not confident he doesn’t have near-future NFL Head Coach aspirations. Can you say different?

  66. Jay says:

    Hey swift eddie, sincere thanks for not being a Pitt fan, quite frankly I’m glad the PITT-WVU series is over, now the BIG 12 fans can be the recipient of bricks in their wind shield while attending a game in Morgantown.

  67. TS says:

    Per DK’s comments on today’ other blog post, regarding Evgeni Malkin.

    DK said:

    “Here’s a hint as to what I heard”

    To me that says maybe it’s true, maybe not. Did Evgeni oversleep? Was he just being a bum and laying in bed? Or did he not feel good when he woke up and asked to skip the morning skate? Who’s your source? A player? Dan Byslma?

    Maybe I’m nitpicking, yet the larger picture to me is that it’s things like this type of speculation/rumor/hot scoop that is an excuse to start people criticizing (and sometimes saying downright nasty things) about an athlete (actor, public citizen, etc.) which to me, stinks. Tell me if I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but I feel like there’s more and more of this all the time in the media… calling someone out based on hearsay…that in the end, can tarnish a reputation or worse.

    DK: Sounds to me, TS, like you have an issue with the Penguins and NHL regarding lying about injuries to the public. In that event, you’re misdirecting your anger.

  68. Milo Hamilton says:

    I applaud DK for telling us why Geno missed the skate. Noone else in the “kiss the Penguins butt” local media would.

  69. Milo Hamilton says:

    According to last night’s telecast, do you know why Sidney Crosby missed the game ? Undisclosed Injury. Please.

    DK: Exactly.

  70. G-MAN says:

    It is time for Pederson to be gone……He personally has made PITT suffer financially…..FIRE HIM AND FIRE HIM NOW. You have the perfect candidate for AD out there in Dave Wannstedt…..If Dave would come back as he AD, and like others already said…Russ Grimm for head coach….it would be standing room only at Heinz….Wake up chancellor Mark Nordenberg…do the right thing here…..

  71. Arriba Wilver says:

    I gotta admit Tom Bradley was the first name that came into my head, but there is no way they can hire him. They can’t afford to take the known risk that something would come out from that still fluid situation (information wise). That might be somewhat unfair to Tom, but it’s not about Tom, it’s about Pitt right now.

    DK: Well put.

  72. Jay says:

    I feel like Christmas came early this year, thanks to A-State we can get a REAL football coach, one that won’t throw his players under the bus. To the rest of the PAC12 teams, “your welcome”. I’ve added Lisa Love to my Chrustmas card list. To the A-State fans, you may want to fill up with “high octane” before you leave for the game so you don’t have to sputter all the way home.

  73. Officer Mancuso says:

    As a Pitt alum who attended Pitt football home games and World Series games on the same cold day I say “Good riddance” to Graham cracker, all hail Hanrahan and Resop.

  74. DD says:

    Eddie Pastilong for AD.

  75. Lou Holtz says:

    Nordys last words to Todd (jedd clampett) on the tarmac at allegheny county airport , ya’ll come back now …………………………….. ya hear !!!!!!! black gold …. texas tea ……. penni graham actually hates pittsburgh because the o doesnt serve pulled pork or bb que beef brisket with cornbread , she said the vettles are strange in Pittsburgh , chipped ham haluski , samiches with coleslaw and fries

  76. Pittguy says:

    How about Jim Tomsula defensive line coach of the SF 49’ers? Pittsburgh (Steel Valley High) guy through and through and a passion for football that’s unmatched. Or another Steel Valley/Pitt grad and current TJ coach Bill Cherpak? Won a lot of championships at TJ.

  77. Lou Holtz says:

    walt harris needs a job

  78. Ryan says:

    I agree with you 100% DK, this guy is a scrub. He’s just not added his name to the Lane Kiffin’s, Bobby Petrino’s, and Nick Saban’s of the world. The only problem is, he’s just not that good.

    How about Mark May as AD?? He sure talks a good game on TV…LOL

    The problem with finding a coach to Burgh ties, IMHO anyhow, is it seems as though most are at the pro level, at least the ones I know about without doing too much research. Problem with that is, going from the pros to college is a big step down in talent, obviously. But maybe there’s a coordinator out there that wouldn’t mind it. I’m thinking of Jim Haslett.

    I would prefer a coach with college experience though.

  79. Milo Hamilton says:

    Ed Pastilong & Joe Manchin can name Bill Stewart coach in the afterglow of the big Compass Bowl victory.

  80. Pitt Fan for life says:

    The guy was a fraud from day one. The over selling of himself and his abilities was a red flag that everyone should have identified. He is a carpetbagger who has self promoted himself into defrauding institutions out of good money.

  81. Pghez says:

    This is crazy!!! Pederson need to be fired!!! My vote is for Tom Bradley as he is 100% interested in the job!! I also feel that if Bradley is out of the question than Fire Pederson and hire Wannstedt back!!! What do you thin DK?

  82. Thundercrack says:

    What makes you think Dave Wannstedt is qualified to be the Athletic Director?

    And I didn’t realize that Graham reminded you of Jim Tracy at his introductory news conference. I thought it was just within the last month or so…..when he took no responsibility for the team’s poor play and put the blame on the players –especially Sunseri.

  83. Naje says:

    I wouldn’t want Wannstedt anywhere near the University of PIttsburgh. And Russ Grimm, not sure he has a degree… isn’t that a requirement for a head coach on the college level?

    I don’t want ’70’s era guys… those glory years are long gone. Teryl Austin? Sure… I’ll take a closer look. But no more Wanny… unless someone regenerates some brain cells in that man.

    Sometimes Pitt guys should be the last place to look, but DK, in this case, I think you’re right… get a Pitt/Pittsburgh alum/native. Just not the likes of Wanny or Grimm.

  84. Zaphod Beeblebrox says:

    I agree with “Pittguy” – Cherpak would be a great choice

  85. MBS says:

    I was amazed Pederson was hired back at Pitt after doing a terrible job at Nebraska. It’s going to take more than getting a new head coach and AD at Pitt. The problem goes higher.

  86. Sam the Man says:

    I am not defending Pederson but folks who think Wannstedt would make an ideal AD at Pitt evidently have no idea of the job responsibilities of an AD. If you think he was inadequate as a coach – a position in which he has experience – why in the world do you think he would be successful as an AD – where he has NO experience. An AD is not simply an ambassador for the school – which I agree, Wannstedt could do summa cum laude. As for the next coach; Pitt missed the boat last year when Vanderbilt hired James Franklin while Pitt was going after domestic abusers and classless carpet-baggers. Even though he is a PA guy, I doubt that Coach Franklin would listen to an offer from Pitt because he has made a commitment and has professional ethics. Coach Mullen at Mississippi State is in a good situation where he is but may listen to an offer if done above board and with the administration’s approval. I’m afraid it is just an impossible Christmas wish for Pitt fans, but either one of these guys would do wonders for Pitt football – both on and off the field!

  87. MGO says:

    Paul Rhoads was DC under Wannstedt before going to Auburn (DC) and then Iowa State as head coach. He has made that program so much better than it should ever be, sitting out in Ames and playing a Big 12 schedule. If they can somehow convince Rhoads to come back to Pitt, then you’ll find out that Todd Graham’s departure was the best thing that could have ever happened to Pitt.

    (Incidentally, given all the turmoil in Happy Valley and how that might give outside coaches pause, I’d also take Rhoads at Penn State in a heartbeat).

  88. scapper says:

    Glad that idiot Graham could make people forget for a day or two the second biggest story of the year in Pittsburgh sports. (You take the prize, PSU and Sandusky.) This Crosby thing is shaping up to be one of the biggest sports stories in this city’s history. I’m sorry to be so negative, but if you look at this using your instinctual gut reaction and look past all the medical talk and hilarious Penguin official statements, this is looking more and more like something that is going to permanently derail this young man’s career.

    He goes from January to November without playing and in two weeks he’s shelved again? Just tragic, in a sports sense.

    I’m afraid we might know how hockey fans felt in Boston in the early 70s when Orr tore up his knee.

  89. Bdeuink says:

    I vote for Alex Van Pelt! Current with the Tampa Bay Bucs!

  90. BLOGojevich says:

    Would anyone at this point be surprised if Pederson offered the gig to Sandusky? Seriously, I’m not joking. #clueless

  91. Officer Mancuso says:

    As a Pitt alum I’m hoping the door bangs him on the way out. Good riddance.

  92. Huff says:

    Pitt should hire Teryl Austin. That will help us defensively and with recruiting locally and also in the Florida market.

    Kirk Ferentz would be an interesting interview. He is an Upper st. Clair native and always plucks one or two WPa recruits each year to head to Iowa. He seems to run a pro set across the board.

    I also like Jim Tressel. That is more tricky but he must be feeling like a leper right now and may have been humbled by the bad experience at OSU. So really, what did he do that was so wrong other than have no institutional control. Does Pitt think they have institutional control with Pederson as an AD. Oh, that would be a control freak. Back to Sir Tressel. His roots are in Eastern Ohio. He would bring immediate credibility football wise. The good news for him is that he can work his way back into coaching at a mid-tier school and work his way back up. I think if Pitt gives him an opportunity when everyone else runs from him, he will be loyal. Period.

    Pederson does need to leave. AD’s are a dime a dozen. For those that say Wanny shouldn’t get it, ummm, there is precedence in a place where Pederson previously worked in Nebraska. Tom Osbourne is the Nebraska AD but acts more in the figure head capacity as I would expect Wanny to do if it went that direction.

    I also like Mark May, but am not sure if I like him better as a HC or AD. Mark has been a great Pitt ambassador for years and his time as one of the leads at ESPN is coming to an end. I am just saying. OC alex Van Pelt.

    Those are some thoughts from a poor feller that once sent a two page letter to Steve Pederson asking him to hire an in-game coach for dave wannstedt immediately after he was hired. I know, it was a progressive thought, but it would have been successful. Actually, very successful, ask Don Zimmer. I still have the email and of course the no response from Pederson. He needs to go and I may have mentioned it.

  93. Dan1283 says:

    DK, I just hope you crush this guy on Friday in your column. Seriously. This is a cardinal sin to a town as fiercely loyal and immeasurably insecure as Pittsburgh.

    Wannstedt can have anything he wants if he is willing to come be A.D. Six cars and a house on Millionaire’s Row? Deal. I’ll even throw in some Pirates All You Can Eat Seats!

    DK: Thursday is Joe Starkey’s column day, and you’ll see he handles the crushing quite well. My days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I can tell you now I’ll be changing gears for the Friday piece.

  94. Mike G says:

    Petersen almost destroyed Nebraska during his time there as AD and now he is doing the same to Pitt. When will someone get a clue and put this clown in the unemployment line.

  95. DaveIn84 says:

    No to Grimm… sorry, he is not college HC material.. and dumb dumb dumb… knew him frosh year at Pitt.
    Yeah, that’s all the proof we need: Some knucklehead took a class with him 30 years ago. Grimm probably gave him a wedgie and sent him on his way and the guys still pissed half a lifetime later.

    Adios to Graham – I think we ducked a bullet by only having him around less than a year.

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