In the five seasons before Pat Narduzzi was hired at Pitt, six coaches (Dave Wannstedt, Phil Bennett, Todd Graham, Keith Patterson, Paul Chryst and Joe Rudolph) are credited with having coached a game at Pitt in some capacity.
Narduzzi has provided Pitt with a level of stability and success that had been sorely missed over the previous decade, and with a contract extension through at least the 2030 season, he’s put pen to paper in ensuring that stability is in place for the next decade.
2030 is a long way away, but Narduzzi felt like it was only a matter of time before his extension was secured — especially after securing pay raises for his coaching staff. Pay raises that have been unseen during his time at Pitt.
“To me, it’s been done for a while,” Narduzzi said Tuesday. “Just delayed it … and I mentioned this morning that the big part of it was done almost two months ago. Taking care of the staff, making sure our coaching staff was taken care of. Heather (Lyke) and the Chancellor really made a commitment, and it’s probably our first significant raise for assistants since I’ve been here. It was a significant raise for our guys.”
With coaches like Frank Cignetti Jr., Charlie Partridge, Tiquan Underwood, Archie Collins, Cory Sanders, Randy Bates, Tim Salem, among others, on the staff, it’s a talented unit that has come together at the right time for Pitt. And Narduzzi is happy, first and foremost, that his coaches have been taken care of, and that he’s given Pitt a few more years to extend the championship window.
After all, in today’s world of college athletics, both players and coaches are liable to both explore and pursue new options year in and year out. Narduzzi has already seen how his own stability has impacted the program.
“I think for a lot of parents, it’s a big question,” Narduzzi said. “You see coaches hopping all around, and I think it’s a big question for kids, like, ‘Are you gonna be here?’ Matter of fact, I had that question Saturday, had a bunch of recruits on campus and the question came up two or three times. I said just wait till Monday. … You’re the first to know on Saturday, but it’s coming out Monday.”
With a 53-37 (36-22 ACC) record through seven seasons, Narduzzi has won two division titles and one outright ACC title. He’s already the fourth-highest winning coach in program history, and if the 2022 season is anywhere near what it should be, he’ll be second behind only Jock Sutherland after the season.
In the current landscape of college football, Pitt and Narduzzi are about as close a perfect fit as there is. Coming off an ACC title, it was the perfect time to extend Narduzzi and promise continued success in the ACC. And it wouldn’t have been possible without a strong support system from the higher ups.
“It starts with the leadership, and I’ve always said, we’ve all gotta be going in the same direction … it’s a step by step, doing it the right way with integrity,” Narduzzi said. “It says a lot about this place, and it’s a destination job, period. It is. But it’s only a destination job for somebody that’s from this area, that loves this area and has a passion for Pittsburgh. It might not be a destination for somebody else that’s not from this area. And that’s the key, this is a great job, I love Pitt and I love these kids.”
Instead of worrying about what could be at the end of his however many years at Pitt, Narduzzi is currently focused on the now. With an ACC championship on the books, how can Pitt build upon it?
“The thing I think about right now is, “Let’s win another championship. Let’s do it again. Let’s prove it’s wasn’t just a one year deal, it’s a two year deal in a row,'” Narduzzi said. “So, that’s what we’re working on.”