An opportunity for the Pitt football program to get better became available today and Pat Narduzzi needs to at least explore it.
Mississippi State made the decision to fire head coach Joe Moorhead after just two seasons in Starkville.
Moorhead is one of the brightest offensive minds in college football and will no doubt receive immediate contact for offensive coordinator openings, but that shouldn’t stop Narduzzi for giving him a call.
Back in May, Moorhead signed a four-year extension for an average of $3.2 million per season so he doesn’t need to immediately return to coaching. However, he’s just 46 years old and is a football coach who loves the game. Chances are, despite the surprising news he received today, he wants to be involved in football in some capacity this coming season.
While he’ll likely receive an opportunity with more responsibility than he’d get from Narduzzi, no other program can offer what Pitt can and that’s a chance for Moorhead to come home and coach. Moorhead was born in Penn Hills and attended Central Catholic High School. He actually grew up as a fan of Pitt football and specifically of former Panther Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. In fact, he wore No. 13 playing football from 5th grade until his senior season when Central Catholic retired Marino’s number. He also got his coaching career started as a graduate assistant at Pitt.
Being a childhood fan of Marino wouldn’t be enough to get Moorhead to Pitt but if Narduzzi and the university are creative enough, I’m sure they’d get his attention and get him to at least consider it.
Even if it’s just on a short-term basis, Moorhead would be a great addition to the Pitt football program because of his reputation on the offensive side of the ball. As all Pitt fans are well aware, the offense has had it’s share of issues the last few seasons and Moorhead would no doubt bring some valuable expertise, a new set of eyeballs and way of thinking.
This would not and should not be viewed as dissatisfaction with the job Mark Whipple did in his first year as Pitt’s offensive coordinator. This would be done for one reason and one reason only: making the Pitt football program better, which should always be the goal.
For the critics that think this would never work and it’s a crazy idea, this is something Nick Saban has done seemingly done on a yearly basis. Over the last few years, Saban has added former college head coaches as members of his program in varying capacities. Some of the most recent names are Dan Enos, Steve Sarkisian and most recently, Butch Jones, who’s currently an offensive analyst making $35,000 a year. Considering the money he’s still owed by Mississippi State, Moorhead doesn’t need the money and his next job won’t be dictated by a salary.
This is just one man’s opinion and Moorhead could and will likely receive a more attractive football opportunity but that shouldn’t stop Narduzzi from reaching out to him. Pitt could have an opportunity to add a great football mind to their football staff and which by the way is void of any Pittsburgh native on it.
Opportunities like this don’t present themselves very often, so Pitt should get on the phone and see if Moorhead would be interested in coming home.