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Pitt hires Tumpkin as linebacker coach

Pitt filled the final opening on its football coaching staff Monday by hiring Joe Tumpkin as linebackers coach.

Tumpkin who spent the past three seasons in the same capacity at Southern Methodist University under Phil Bennett, Pitt’s new defensive coordinator. Tumpkin fills a void created when special teams coordinator/linebackers coach Charlie Partridge left for Wisconsin.

“The addition of Joe to our coaching staff fills three important needs for us,” Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said in a statement. “No. 1, Joe is a seasoned linebacker coach. Secondly, he has worked extensively with special teams. Finally, as a Miami native, he is very familiar with the state of Florida and has recruited there the last several years. We’re excited about him joining us.”

Tumpkin also participated in the NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Program, working with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last summer. Tumpkin, a graduate of Michigan Tech, also has coached at Sam Houston State (2002-04), Division III Lakeland College (2000-01), Southern Illinois (1998-99) and Defiance College (1996). He was a graduate assistant at Western Michigan, Northern Michigan and Lakeland.

“I am tremendously excited about joining the University of Pittsburgh,” Tumpkin said. “Coach Wannstedt is a great defensive mind and I’m looking forward to learning from him. Certainly, I’m also glad to be reunited with coach Bennett. Being at Pitt and competing in a top level conference like the Big East is a great opportunity and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

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