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Report: Potential Pitt OC Target Hired as MWC Head Coach

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A Pitt football helmet sits at a player's feet during a timeout against Virginia Tech on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Mitchell Northam / Pittsburgh Sports Now.)

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.

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.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Denny
Denny
3 months ago

Pitt’s next OC needs a team of players and coaches who are committed to the Panthers for the long haul. It’s not going to be an easy task, but that’s what it’s going to take to clean up this mess. If Narduzzi can’t grasp this, then he needs to retire.

Giovanni
Giovanni
3 months ago
Reply to  Denny

Narduzzi cannot be trusted to recognize, and persuade, a top-notch OC to come to Pitt. Heather can though so she needs to take the lead at this stage. The program is teetering on the edge of long-term disaster hence there is no room to suffer through another incompetent OC for multiple years.

Pittband
Pittband
3 months ago
Reply to  Giovanni

Heather? Please

Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Shanahan

Drew
Drew
3 months ago

Pat.is just LAZY, especially when it comes to recruiting, his dad also got lazy and Youngstown had to run him off , but his dad wouldn’t leave , so they had to get a restraining order , true stuff

srs28704
srs28704
3 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Maybe he is tenured like the Professors that get comfortable after achieving it … Coach Emeritus Narduzzi Chris Bickell 97′

Tim
Tim
3 months ago

A funny thought. Narduzzi can’t seemingly choose a starting QB from a room with 3 choices.
The thought of him leading this process is not comforting to me.
Look, Pat. If you really want to be a defensive coordinator I’m certain you could find work.
I like when head coaches delegate. Pat takes it to a new level, though. H2P!

JimC.
JimC.
3 months ago

Sure hope someone other than Narduzzi has a lot to say about hiring any new staff,period.

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