The Pitt Panthers had one of the top defenses in the country and the leader of that unit has been recognized nationally for that unit’s performance.
Pitt defensive coordinator Randy Bates has been named the Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.
For the second consecutive season, the Panthers defense led the country in sacks (46) along with being the leaders in tackles for loss, with a school-record 111 and having the third-best rushing defense, as they allowed allowed 93 yards per game.
“This is a tremendously humbling honor that I gratefully accept on behalf of Coach [Pat] Narduzzi, my fellow assistants and, most importantly, the outstanding young men who proudly wear that Pitt helmet each fall Saturday,” Bates said in a press release. “It really is a program award and I’m thrilled to share it with our entire Pitt football family.”
“Randy Bates represents the very best of the coaching profession,” said Narduzzi. “He’s a teacher first and foremost. I love that Randy is so passionate and committed to the people he works with, especially our players. He’s a great leader for not only our student-athletes, but also our staff. Randy is very deserving of this award.”
The Assistant Coach of the Year honors assistant coaches who excel in community service, commitment to the student-athlete, on-field coaching success and AFCA professional organization involvement.