Oh no, here we go again.
That’s what the majority of Pitt football fans were thinking yesterday when the story came out that Charlie Partridge had interviewed for the vacant coaching defensive line spot at Alabama.
You can’t blame fans for feeling that way considering the last few years, Pat Narduzzi has had to replace Jim Chaney, Matt Canada and Renaldo Hill after they left for different coaching positions.
At this point and as we all know things can change quickly, it looks as though Partridge is likely to return for the 2018 season. No word yet if that’s because Nick Saban is hiring someone else or because Pitt stepped up and compensated Partridge.
Regardless of the details, the administration at Pitt needs to be proactive with this situation and make sure Partridge is here for a long-time. Alabama came after him this year and you can be sure another school will be doing the same in the near future.
As we’ve written over the last few years, the state of Florida is an important recruiting territory for Pitt and you won’t find many coaches that recruit that state better than him. It’s hard enough to recruit that state when you’re going up against Florida State, Miami, Florida and now Central Florida but losing a coach with the contacts that Partridge has would make it very difficult.
Keep in mind that this will only be Partridge’s second year with Pitt so the fruits of his labor should be coming in the next couple of recruiting classes. It’s all about relationships in the business of recruiting.
Strengthening the image of Pitt football is another important reason to hold on to Partridge.
Right or wrong, Pitt has an image especially within the fan base of not being able to retain valuable assistants and being a stepping stone for major programs in college football. Georgia and LSU targeted Jim Chaney and Matt Canada for their offensive coordinator positions and eventually paid big money to hire them.
Pitt needs to do everything in their power to not let that happen this year.
If Narduzzi gets this program to the status of being a perennial top 25 team and one that competes for the Coastal Division title, his assistants will become more attractive to other programs. Narduzzi had a good eye for talent when he hired Tim Salem, Kevin Sherman, Andre Powell, Rob Harley and Partridge.
Pitt needs to make sure they’re well compensated and happy.
I would guess that Partridge would’ve liked to get the defensive coordinators position that went to Randy Bates. To me, a smart thing for Heather Lyke and Narduzzi to do would be to give Partridge a promotion (assistant head coach) and reward him with a sizeable raise.
Continuity is very important in all sports and Pitt has had a lot of changes the last couple years on their coaching staff. It’s time for that to end and for them to let Charlie Partridge know how important he is to the program.