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Lyke, Pitt Opened Checkbook to Keep Coaching Staff Together



DETROIT — In her pregame meeting with the Pittsburgh media before the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl, Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke stressed the value of continuity in the Pitt football coaching staff and said she did not expect there to be any changes before the 2020 season.

After the game, head coach Pat Narduzzi let it be known one of the reasons that Lyke was so sure there would be no changes.

She had already opened up the purse strings to prevent a Pitt assistant from leaving. Though Narduzzi wouldn’t reveal which assistant coach, he said that Lyke helped keep his staff together by fending off an offer for one of his coaches.

“There’s always change at the end of the years,” Narduzzi said. “When you have a great staff, people will come get them. But we’ve already averted one thanks to Heather Lyke. We were able to hold onto one coach already. We’ll continue to do some more.”

Lyke spoke extensively about the importance of continuity for the football coaching staff, citing the early season adjustment to the new offense of Mark Whipple hurting the Panthers against Virginia as a way they’ve been hurt in the past by a lack of continuity.

She said it’s important to be able to keep coaches from leaving for similar roles elsewhere. Pitt offensive coordinators Jim Chaney and Matt Canada both left for the same job at Georgia and LSU after the 2015 and 2016 seasons before Lyke arrived.

“If they go on and become head coaches, that’s sort of a different story, but we want to keep them here for the jobs that they’re doing and Coach Narduzzi values all of them and the input and the impact that they’ve had,” Lyke said. “And so do I.”

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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