With the conclusion of the 2021 season, Pat Narduzzi’s biggest task is bringing in someone to replace Mark Whipple as Pitt’s offensive coordinator.
Considering the talent that the program has stockpiled on offense and the upward trajectory of the program, Narduzzi will have no problem luring qualified and attractive candidates. Based on his recent track record of hiring assistant coaches, I’m very confident he’ll make another solid choice that will keep this offense in a position to put up points.
Despite saying he wouldn’t focus on this hiring until after the season, I’m sure Narduzzi has a short list of candidates that he plans on talking with. I can save Pat some time and suggest a person that he’s already familiar with that was one of his better coaching hires at Pitt.
Bring back former wide receiver coach Chris Beatty as the Panthers new offensive coordinator.
Pitt hired the 48-year-old back in 2019 and he moved on to the NFL as the wide receiver coach with the Los Angeles Chargers. He didn’t leave because he was unhappy or for a lateral job, he left to go coach at the highest level of football.
Beatty had this to say to Pittsburgh Sports Now after accepting the job with the Chargers-
“This definitely was bittersweet because trust me, I love everyone here (Pitt). I appreciate Coach Narduzzi for giving me the opportunity at Pitt. They really have a great coaching staff along with great people, in every respect. Then obviously the players, I love those guys, they’re my guys. This definitely was not easy. Believe me there are very few jobs that I would’ve left these guys to go to because I felt like I had a great gig and situation here. I was not looking for a change.”
Of all the coaches that have left during Narduzzi’s tenure, I believe Beatty was the biggest loss and had the most long-term potential. Aside from Charlie Partridge, Beatty arguably was Narduzzi’s best assistant coaching hire. His biggest strengths are his personality and ability to create lasting relationships with people, most notably recruits.
Despite not being here long, Beatty was able to attract talent like Jordan Addison, Naquan Brown, Myles Alston, Rodney Hammond and Malik Newton to the Panthers program. Let’s not forget that Beatty was solely responsible for bringing Addison, Brown, Alston and Hammond to Pitt. His recruiting ties to the east coast, especially in Virginia and Maryland are legendary and with more time, would’ve brought more elite level talent to Pitt. I believe it’s a must for Pitt’s next offensive coordinator to be a strong and active recruiter, something Mark Whipple wasn’t.
Beatty would instantly turn into Pitt’s best recruiter on staff, along with Partridge. Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football and Beatty would keep that as a strength for the Panthers.
Along with attracting talent, Beatty has a long history with many Power Five programs and served as co-offensive coordinator at both Illinois and Maryland. Since moving to the college ranks in 2006, after coaching high school football in Virginia, Beatty has had stops at Northern Illinois, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Illinois, Wisconsin, Virginia and Maryland. Aside from offensive coordinator, Beatty has also been assistant head coach at Maryland and Virginia.
Despite being in the NFL, this would likely be an opportunity Beatty wouldn’t pass up. Successful stints as a coordinator turn into head coaching jobs–which is every coach’s dream.
A big part of Pitt’s recent success is Narduzzi has surrounded himself with a tremendous coaching staff and Beatty would more than make up for the losses of Whipple and Marion.
This is an attractive job and Narduzzi will no doubt have a ton of worthy candidates but in my opinion, Chris Beatty checks all the boxes and so would be a home run hire.