Pat Narduzzi recently hired former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback coach and University of Massachusetts head coach Mark Whipple as the Panthers next offensive coordinator. Whipple was the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Miami (FL) from 2009-2010 and he frequently interacted with Florida recruiting legend Larry Bluestein. Blustein has nearly 50 years of experience in the south Florida media and is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of almost every prospect in Florida.
“(Mark Whipple) is a great guy. I knew him when he was at University of Miami, and his son Spencer, who was the quarterback, and I got to know them both,” said Bluestein. “He used to always value what I told him about some of the players they were evaluating. Whipple will be someone that changes the offense and culture for the better at Pitt. It’s not his fault what happened at Massachusetts. It’s really tough to recruit there. He did the best he could. He had to appease the people in Massachusetts and try to get more local kids. At the same time, you can’t win with Massachusetts kids that are third and fourth level kids.”
“I think Whipple helps change or add to the culture at Pitt. When you add guys like Whipple and Charlie Partridge, you’re not only helping your team from a recruiting standpoint, but your adding guys that will add to a winning culture.”
Whipple is very familiar with the city of Pittsburgh. He spent 2004-2006 in Pittsburgh with the Steelers under head coach Bill Cowher. His time with the Steelers coincided with the first three seasons of Ben Rothlisberger’s NFL career.
“It was a bit ironic, last summer I spent time with Whipple and Butch Davis at a Florida International event. Massachusetts was part of it. I believe Coach Narduzzi and Coach Salem were there from Pitt,” he said. “We sat there and myself, Butch and Mark talked about how good schemes are not everything, it’s just you got to have the right players. Whipple will have more to work with at Pitt. He has a better line, really good receivers and definitely a better class of running backs. You’ll see him flourish at Pitt.”
Harry Psaros can be found on Twitter at @PittGuru