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PSN Poll: 10 Years Later, Was Firing Dave Wannstedt A Mistake?

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Ten years ago today marked one of the most controversial decisions in Pitt football history as then-athletic director Steve Pederson fired head football coach Dave Wannstedt.

In six seasons as Panthers head coach, Wannstedt went 42-31, which included a three year record from from 2008 until 2010 of 26-12, which is the program’s best three-year run since 1981-83.

Courtesy of Pgh Sports History

That December afternoon 10 years ago was a bizarre scene as Wannstedt walked into the press conference flanked by his players behind him as a sign of their support and love for him.

With the inconsistency of the program, some fans today still maintain that firing him was a mistake.

Our PSN Poll question is, looking back, was the firing of Dave Wannstedt a mistake?

Was the firing of Dave Wannstedt a mistake?

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Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
6 months ago

His firing certainly was not a mistake. He was never going to be able to adapt to the current college game. Our subsequent handling of coaching hires was/is the mistake…

Chuck Klein
Chuck Klein
6 months ago

Disagree. He was starting to get better players and the record shows it. He could have won with a pro style offense.

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
6 months ago
Reply to  Chuck Klein

Disagree all you want, you’ll still be wrong. Can’t win with what you’re calling a dated offense. That shit doesn’t work anymore pops.

Robert Hasenoehrl
Robert Hasenoehrl
6 months ago

I would rather be right where we are now with Narduzzi and having top recruits committing here for next year. Wanny Highlights 2005 – Only 5 wins 2006 – Only 6 wins 2007 – Only 5 wins 2008 – Lost 3-0 to Oregon St. in Bowl game. Stull had 52 yards passing and McCoy had 85 yards rushing. 2009 – Won Bowl game vs. N.C. Half games that year we had less than 170 yards passing. 2010 – Beat Kentucky in Bowl game with only 96 yards passing, Dion Lewis had 105 yards rushing. Unfortunately that wasn’t the worst passing… Read more »

J Z
J Z
6 months ago

The never ending fascination with Wanny continues to puzzle me. He couldn’t even win a watered down Big East, so I’m not sure why folks think he was the answer.

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
6 months ago
Reply to  J Z

Because Yinzers live in the 70s…

Eli
Eli
6 months ago

Wannstedt’s teams always seemed to me like less than the sum of their parts, talent-wise, and his game day coaching was somewhere between timid and terrified. Add to that: his inability to recruit semi-decent quarterbacks for several years really hamstrung the team. I don’t miss the guy one bit.

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
6 months ago

His firing was a mistake. He starred at Pitt. He had success in the NFL. He was fired after a 7-5 season. The season before was 10-3 and before that 9-4. Who did Pedersen get for Pitt? Todd “no integrity” Graham. We fired a players’coach who would always be loyal to Pitt! How stupid was that?

James from Florida
James from Florida
6 months ago

Wanny had issues but the Pitt coaches hired after him have not duplicated his 10 or his 9 win season.

Stevie P hired Fraud and Paulie C to take Pitt to the next level,

Didn’t work and now Narduzzi after 6 seasons can’t get them to 9 wins.

We are on the third regime of coaching and trying to get back to 9 or 10 wins so you tell me are we better off or really mediocre or does the administration need to change their hiring process?

Mary Olup
Mary Olup
6 months ago

He had four kids get arrested in one year. We were being compared to the criminals at Miami for goodness sakes. No discipline.

Bill in Tampa
Bill in Tampa
6 months ago

At the time, Pitt had 22 players with criminal records, the most in a Sports Illustrated study. Whether agree or disagree with the attitude, Pitt does not want to “win at all costs.”

THE TROUBLE AT PITT – Sports Illustrated Vault | SI.com

Pitt Fan 54
Pitt Fan 54
6 months ago
Reply to  Bill in Tampa

You are right Bill. He was fired because the players were out of control. I remember the players supporting him at the press conference and I was thinking to myself “Your actions are what got him fired, its a little too late.” He treated those kids as if they were Pros, and they were not.

Kevin
Kevin
6 months ago

The timing was terrible. With PSU in Sandusky trouble, he would have dominated recruiting in PA for that decade! He is a lot like Franklin though, he would never get Pitt to the next level with his style of game day coaching. But then again, few can!

Bob Cardy
Bob Cardy
6 months ago

I love Wanny, and he is a great ambassador for Pitt. But, he was a “play not to lose” coach. Up by 3 points at the start of the 3rd quarter, start milking the clock and lose all momentum. I don’t think he would have fared well at all in the ACC, and I don’t see him having the recruiting foot print PN has developed. PN needs to win over the next couple years, or the recruiting success is moot.

Clark Martineau
Clark Martineau
6 months ago
Reply to  Bob Cardy

And yet the voting is five to one in the ‘stache’s favor

Justin Dietrich
Justin Dietrich
6 months ago

There are a lot of stupid Pittsburgh fans…LOTS of uneducated Yinzer losers.

 
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