Pitt is in the midst of the most important offensive coordinator search of the Pat Narduzzi era, and a potential candidate is now reportedly off the board.
It was a long shot that former Kent State head coach and current/somewhat current Colorado offensive coordinator Sean Lewis would consider coming to Pitt as its new offensive coordinator, considering his level of interest around the nation, and now he is indeed off the table.
According to a report from Action Network’s Brett McMurphy, Lewis will be named the next head coach at San Diego State. So, that obviously takes him out of a number of potential Power Five coordinating gigs.
Sean Lewis will be San Diego State's coach, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. Lewis was Kent State's coach from 2018-22 before joining Colorado as OC this season. Lewis was stripped of his play-calling duties after 8 games by Deion Sanders
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) November 28, 2023
Coincidentally, another potential offensive coordinator candidate in UNLV OC Brennan Marion also reportedly interviewed for the SDSU job. So, he will still be on the market in the days and weeks to come.
Pitt is in the midst of a search for its new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the wake of Frank Cignetti Jr.’s dismissal.
After leading the ACC with 41.4 points per game in 2021, under Whipple’s leadership, Pitt fell to 31.3 points per game in 2022 and 20.2 pointers per game in 2023 — halving total points per game in just two seasons.
It was a tough season. Pitt finished 3-9 (2-6 ACC) and it was easily the worst season of the Narduzzi era in Pittsburgh. But there was one area that has held back the team more than any other.
Pitt finished 114th in points per game (20.2) and 113th in total offense (317.9) in college football, and both of those stats rank amongst the lowest Power Five programs in the country. The passing offense was a disaster, with a handful of quarterbacks trying to run the offense, and the run game was non-existent for large stretches of the season.
Pitt failed to capitalize on the success built by the 2021 ACC title, and despite an All-American campaign from Izzy Abanikanda in 2022, it was largely because Cignetti’s offense was unable to function as a cohesive unit.
While Narduzzi said after the Duke loss that Pitt would “digest” the loss before making any coaching changes this season, it’s clear that Narduzzi recognized that Pitt wasn’t good enough offensively.
“We’re going to look at that, and find out what it is,” Narduzzi said. “Obviously, we’ve got to score more points and we’ve got to convert in the red zone and find out what we’ve got to do. But we’ve definitely going to score more points. That’s a fact.”
The next hire that Narduzzi makes will be a very important one, as Narduzzi likes to be hands-off with his offensive personnel and let the offensive coordinator handle all of the day-to-day duties.