Pitt Offensive Coordinator Bob Bostad Departs

The Panthers will replace Todd Graham with Wisconsin's Paul Chryst.

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Pitt Offensive Coordinator Bob Bostad Leaves Panther Program To Join Tampa Bay Buccaneers Staff

Offensive line guru Bob Bostad did not stick around Pittsburgh too long. The former Wisconsin offensive line coach, hired by colleague and friend Paul Chryst to run the Panthers offense is leaving to join the professional ranks as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive line coach. Alex Marvez first reported the news that Bostad was leaving Pitt, less than two months after he was hired during Chirstmas week. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had difficulty assembling a staff under new head coach Greg Schiano, with many NFL teams blocking their attempts to interview assistant coachs. They have thus dipped into the college ranks to fill out the staff, and Pitt was a victim this weekend.

Bostad has had considerable success churning out productive NFL offensive lineman. Former Bostad players Gabe Carimi, Bill Nagy, and John Moffitt all started as rookie offensive lineman in the NFL this season. While playing under the tutelage of Bostad, both Carimi and Moffitt were named All-Americans. It's a tough loss for Pitt, which seemed to be recovering nicely from the abrupt Todd Graham departure.

Chryst announced that quarterbacks coach Joe Rudolph would be promoted to offensive coordinator while Jim Hueber will step up from tight ends coach to offensive line coach. Chryst will look to hire two new coaches to fill the vacancies created by those promotions after Bostad's departure.

For more on Paul Chryst and Pitt football, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.


Wisconsin Offensive Line Coach Bob Bostad Will Join Paul Chryst As Pittsburgh Offensive Coordinator, According To Reports

According to reports out of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad will be joining Paul Chryst at Pittsburgh and will serve as the Panthers offensive coordinator. Tom Mulhern reported Bostad's departure as the Badgers prepared for their Rose Bowl matchup with Oregon.

Via Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal:

Source tells State Journal offensive line coach Bob Bostad is the one who will be joining Chryst at Pittsburgh.

Bostad is reportedly very close with Chryst, and has consistently coached one of the best offensive lines in the country in Madison. Bill Nagy, Gabe Carimi, and John Moffitt were all starting rookie offensive linemen in the NFL this season after playing under the instruction and tutelage of Bostad. Both Carimi and Moffitt were All-Americans last season, and the Badgers once again boasted two All-Americans on the offensive line this year.

What's being characterized as a significant loss in Wisconsin should be a solid addition in Pittsburgh. It's always beneficial when a new coach has a previous and close working relationship with his coordinators, especially when both of those coaches are considered rising stars in the coaching ranks. Chryst, and now Bostad, should have Panther fans quickly forgetting the tumult of the Todd Graham era.

Via Pitt Script.

For more on Paul Chryst and Pitt football, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.


Paul Chryst Doesn't Equal Dayne Crist For Pitt

Pitt got its head coach today after announcing that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst was coming to the university. It was speculated that Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist, who was transferring from the Irish, might come to Pitt as well. That won’t be the case, though.

Crist was down to Wisconsin and Kansas as his top choices and was waiting to hear what might happen to Chryst. But after Chryst left the Badgers, Crist (are you lost in the name confusion yet?) decided to become a Jayhawk:

Former top recruit Dayne Crist announced on Twitter that he would join the Jayhawks for his senior season after a checkered career at Notre Dame, shortly before news broke that BYU quarterback Jake Heaps was also transferring to Kansas.

Crist will reunite with Weis, who recruited him to Notre Dame, and be eligible to play next season because he’s already graduated from Notre Dame. Heaps will have to sit out under NCAA transfer rules but will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

The fact that Weis signed with Kansas essentially made it a done deal that he was headed there. It made little sense for Crist to want to come to Pitt to compete with Tino Sunseri and company.

For more on Paul Chryst and Pitt football, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.


Paul Chryst Introduced As New Pitt Coach

As Paul Chryst was introduced as Pitt's new head football coach on Thursday in a press conference at the Panthers' South Side practice facility, he didn't waste any time giving a nod to the program's history.

"There is unbeliveable tradition here," the former Wisconsin offensive coordinator said. "When this opportunity presented itself, I wanted to be a part of this. I wanted to be a part of the tradition of Pitt football."

He also didn't waste any time getting down to business.

Athletic director Steve Pederson said Chryst and his family arrived in Pittsburgh from Madison at roughly 9:45 on Wednesday morning. They proceeded to head straight to the South Side, where Chryst met with his new players for the first time at their final practice before Christmas ahead of their BBVA Compass Bowl matchup with Southern Methodist on Jan. 7 in Birmingham.

Afterward, Chryst met with the local media and stressed the importance of that first visit with his new team. 

"I'm not here alone," Chryst said. "It's not something that I have done. It's a group of people. That's why today, it meant more to me that we come off the plane and the first thing we do is go and talk to the players, because that is what really energizes me. That is what we are in this thing for. We are football coaches and you can't coach if you don't have players."

The South Side stage was set for Chryst just over a week after former Pitt coach Todd Graham left his position after less than a year to take the same position at Arizona State, citing his family as the reason for the move.

In his initial comments, Chryst acknowledged the instability brought upon the program by the move but indicated he'll seek to help move the program past it.

"It's a tough time, flat out, that's what it is," Chryst said. "But yet, there's a lot [the players] can focus on. They've got a great opportunity. There's a lot of teams that aren't playing in bowl games. There's a group of seniors...they should be sent out the right way." 

The new Pitt coach won't be in the mix immediately, though.

Pederson said he and Chryst agreed that Chryst will coach his Badgers one last time when they face Oregon in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 2. After that, he'll accompany the Panthers to the bowl game and take over the program for good afterward.

"That was certainly significant to him and significant to me and everyone that plays for him, everyone who's ever played for him and everyone who is going to play for him," Pederson said. "He wants to see his kids through to the end and that was a significant part of all of our discussion is how you treat people and how you treat young people and the program."

And for a program hiring its third new head coach in just over a year, maybe that's the perfect foot on which to start a new era of Pitt football.

"There was never a question in our mind that that was the right thing to do," Pederson said. "We're all going to enjoy watching him coach and we're all going to be big Badger fans that night. "On Wisconsin" maybe?"


Pitt Formally Names Paul Chryst Next Football Coach

The University of Pittsburgh has issued a statement on their website formally announcing that they have named Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst as their next football coach, replacing the recently departed Todd Graham. Here is Athletic Director Steve Pederson on Chryst.

"We are extremely pleased to welcome Coach Chryst and his family to Pittsburgh," Pederson said. "His remarkable success at Wisconsin is well documented in the form of Big Ten championships and All-America performances. But beyond his achievements on the football field, we believed it was important to find a leader who gets the very best from his players while also developing the kind of culture that fits the University of Pittsburgh. Paul Chryst is that leader and we are anxious for our players and fans to get to know him in the coming days and years."

And here is Chryst himself on the opportunity.

"My family and I greatly appreciate the opportunity to join the University of Pittsburgh," Chryst said. "Pitt and Pittsburgh are absolutely the right fit for us, and we're looking forward to getting immersed in our new hometown. We are committed to building a program on and off the field that will make people proud. The bar is set high in the `City of Champions' and that is incredibly exciting and inspiring. I can't wait to meet our players and get to work."

The school will formally  introduce Chryst in a press conference at 3:00 P.M.


Pitt Football Coaching Search: Paul Chryst Is Reportedly The Pick For The Panthers

Earlier tonight, news broke that Pitt was close to hiring Wisconsin offensive coordinator. Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette is now saying it’s a done deal:

Quickly – because I have to finish some things and make some more phone calls – in case you missed it, Pitt is going to hire Paul Chryst.

Chryst appeared to be behind FIU coach Mario Cristobal in the hunt to become the next head coach. But that seemingly changed today when both the Post-Gazette and the Tribune-Review called Chryst the frontrunner.

If you’re not familiar with him, Chryst runs a pro style offense. This is significant because it’s what the program ran under former coach Dave Wannstedt. Pitt changed to a spread/no-huddle offense under Todd Graham and now it appears the team will be changing again. This shouldn’t be completely starting over for the team as much of the team played under Wannstedt, but it will be a bit of an adjustment.

For more on the hire and Pitt football, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.


Paul Chryst To Be Pitt's Next Head Football Coach, According To Reports

A couple of sources are now reporting that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst will be the Pitt Panthers’ new head football coach. Paul Zeise:

Quickly – because I have to finish some things and make some more phone calls – in case you missed it, Pitt is going to hire Paul Chryst.


Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst will be the next coach at Pittsburgh, sources told ESPN’s Joe Schad on Wednesday.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Just received confirmation from a Wisconsin source that offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has accepted an offer to become the next head coach at Pittsburgh.

Sports By Brooks:

I can confirm Paul Chryst as the next head football coach at Pittsburgh. Will be made official by the school within 48 hours.

These coaching searches are hard to predict, so it’s difficult to feel comfortable saying the Panthers have hired someone until we see him in Pitt gear at a press conference, but this looks pretty much official.

Here's an interview about Chryst with a Wisconsin blogger.

For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.


Todd Graham On Coming To Pitt: 'I Think The Mistake Was Making The Move In The First Place'

Former Pitt football coach Todd Graham details his reasons for leaving the Panthers for Arizona State, and they’re not pretty.

“Somebody out there in the corporate world does it and no one says anything about it,” Graham said this week. "Everybody on the planet is going to do what’s best for them.

“The difference is this: We’re working with young people. We’re educators. I’m not saying I didn’t make a mistake. I’m not saying I didn’t have any regrets.

“I think the mistake was making the move in the first place.”

Ouch. Elsewhere, Graham says he actually resigned at Pitt before being offered the Arizona State job, since Pitt wouldn’t give him permission to interview. He also says he deserved to get slammed for his abrupt departure and for his decision to inform his players by text message, but that he told them that way because he didn’t want them to “find out on the news.” He also denies specifically calling his former Pitt assistants who left for Arizona “mercenaries.”

For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Coaching Search: Post-Gazette Also Confirming Chryst Story

Earlier tonight, we mentioned that the Tribune-Review was calling Paul Chryst the favorite in the Pitt football coaching sweepstakes, and the Post-Gazette is now reporting the same thing.

Paul Zeise, beat writer for Pitt for the Post-Gazette is essentially saying that the job is Chryst’s if the two sides can come to an agreement. The decision, however, doesn’t appear to be a unanimous one:

Chryst is one of two finalists for the job and up until earlier this week was considered to be the second choice behind Florida International’s Mario Cristobal.

However, two sources told the Post-Gazette Tuesday that the search committee was not unanimous in its support for Cristobal and that Chryst was becoming the target.

It will be interesting to see how this shapes out, but if Chryst is hired, it’s important to note that Pitt has now went for an offensive guru for the second time in a row when trying to replace Michael Haywood, who briefly served as the Panthers’ coach in replacing Dave Wannstedt.

The fact that both major newspapers in Pittsburgh are reporting it makes it pretty easy to believe that this is the direction the university is taking.

For more on the coaching search and Pitt football, Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Coaching Search: Paul Chryst Emerges As Favorite, According To Report

The Pittsburgh Panthers coaching search is starting to narrow down the candidates, as Wisconsin Badgers offensive coordinator Paul Chryst emerges as the favorite to land the job, according to a report by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. If Chryst lands the job, he would be Pitt's fourth coach in just over a year.

Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has emerged as the leading candidate to be Pitt's next head football coach, the Tribune-Review has learned.

Chryst, who interviewed with Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson on Saturday, could not be reached for comment.

Chryst has been the offensive coordinator of the Badgers since 2005. Under Chryst, Wisconsin has consistently been one of the best teams in the NCAA rushing the football. This past season with the addition of quarterback Russell Wilson, Chryst has called a much more dynamic offense that continues to put points on the board. 

For the latest on Pitt's coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.    


Pitt Coaching Search: Mario Cristobal, Paul Chryst Still In Mix, According To Report

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise has been all over the reporting on Pitt's coaching search to replace Todd Graham and Tuesday night he offered some new details on the university's quest.

After writing that Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst impressed in his interview with Pitt officials, he said Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal "appears to be the first guy who is going to get an offer" but added a caveat.

I have a number of people around Cristobal telling me he wants the job, it is the moving Pittsburgh part he is not so sure about and that while a raise in the area of $1 million per year can go a long way towards easing some of those concerns, it may not be enough. By now we've all read the stories about him in Miami, rebuilding that program, how much he and his wife are a part of that community and everything else so there is no need to rehash all that.

And so, it appears the cat is not in the bag with Cristobal quite yet, at least from Zeise's vantage points.

Cristobal's Florida International squad fell 20-10 against Marshall in Tuesday night's Beef O'Brady's bowl to end its season. The Golden Panthers managed 251 yards of offense against the Thundering Herd, though they limited their opponents to 310 yards themselves.

For the latest on Pitt's coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Arizona State To Pay Pitt For Todd Graham's Opt-Out Fee

The Arizona Republic's Doug Haller is reporting that Arizona State will pay Pitt $1 million to cover Todd Graham's opt-out obligation from his contract with Pitt. He also reports Graham's salary with the Sun Devils will be $2 million per year, with a $600,000 base salary and $1.4 million additional salary.

Essentially, Graham will pay nothing for leaving the Panthers program after less than a year. Arizona State is footing the bill and will take none of it out of his salary.

Other terms of the contract include incentive bonuses and raises. There is also a stipulation that if Graham terminates the contract, he will not be allowed to work at any Pac-12 Conference institution for the duration of the five-year contract.

Meanwhile, Pitt will mark one week in its search to replace Graham on Wednesday. Reported frontrunner Mario Cristobal of Florida International, will coach the Golden Panthers in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl on Tuesday night, so it will be interesting to see if things heat up beginning on Wednesday.


Pitt Coaching Search: Jim Tomsula A Candidate, According To Report

San Francisco 49ers defensive line coach and West Homestead native Jim Tomsula has or will interview to replace Todd Graham as the head coach at Pitt, according to Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Tomsula is in his fifth season with the 49ers and served as the team's interim head coach after Mike Singletary was fired at the end of last season. His coaching resume includes stints as an assistant at Catawba College, Woodland Hills High School and he also spent several years in the old NFL Europe, rising to a head coaching position with the Rhein Fire in 2006.

Here's Lynch's take on his candidacy at Pitt:

Tomsula would appear to be a perfect fit for Pitt. He has a tremendous record as a coach, including developing the 49ers front seven, which might be the best in the NFL. Before coming to the 49ers in 2007, Tomsula, 43, was a successful head coach in NFL Europa before the league folded.

For the latest on the Pitt coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Pitt Coaching Search: Panthers 'Leaning' Toward Mario Cristobal, According To Report

As Pitt continues its search to replace former coach Todd Graham, who left to take the Arizona State job last Wednesday, Florida International head coach Mario Cristobal appears to be gaining a bit of an edge on the competition as Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

It seems like we are moving closer to a resolution to this thing and Cristobal appears to be the leader in this (even though he still has his people trying to get his name out of it....) so we will have to continue to watch what happens. I've had several people tell me things seem to be leaning his way but I don't think it is a "done deal" or anything close to that.

FootballScoop.com reported on Sunday that Pitt had offered the job to Cristobal, but Pitt Athletics promptly issued a statement denying any offer had been made. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus also reports Cristobal has "emerged as Pittsburgh's No. 1 choice."

For the latest on the Pitt coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Tony Dorsett Talking About Coaching Pitt At Bowl Game

Legendary former Pitt running back and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is seeing what he can do to help current players in light of former coach Todd Graham's departure to Arizona State on Wednesday.

Dorsett tweets:

I've talked to x Pitt players about some of going to bowl game to help coach - our young men deserve better
Dec 16 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply


Pitt faces Southern Methodist at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala. on Jan. 7, and at this point, will do so without Graham and offensive coordinator Mark Norvell, both now in Tempe, as well as three assistants who left to join Rich Rodriguez's staff at Arizona. Interim head coach Keith Patterson remains to lead what is otherwise a fairly stripped coaching staff.

Any help Dorsett and Co. can offer in helping Pitt prepare for the bowl will likely be sorely needed at this point.


Pitt Coaching Search: Mario Cristobal To Interview, According To Report

Florida International coach Mario Cristobal will interview Friday for the Pitt head coaching position vacated by Todd Graham on Wednesday according to a report by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise.

Zeise reported earlier in the day that interim Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell and Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst were among the other interview subjects Pitt has or will talk to. He now says Fickell interviewed on Thursday and that Chryst will talk to Pitt officials on Saturday.

Cristobal just finished his fifth season at Florida International and is set to lead the Golden Panthers against Marshall in the Beef O'Brady's bowl on Dec. 20. He has a career record of 24-37 but has led Florida International to back-to-back bowl appearances after losing records in his first three campaigns. Last season, his team won the Sun Belt Conference and the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl with a 7-6 record. The Panthers were 8-4 in 2011.

For all the latest on the Pitt coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Pitt Coaching Search: Luke Fickell Profile

An interview with Luke Zimmermann of Eleven Warriors and Every Day Should Be Saturday on Luke Fickell's tenure at Ohio State.


Pitt Coaching Search: Paul Rhoads Re-Signs With Iowa State

The Iowa State Cyclones have signed coach Paul Rhoads to a 10-year contract extension, the school announced Friday, taking another Pittsburgh Panthers coaching candidate off the market. The abrupt departure of Todd Graham, who left to take over the Arizona State Sun Devils, sent the Panthers scrambling to fill their coaching vacancy, and Rhoads, the former Pittsburgh defensive coordinator, was among the potential replacements whose name surfaced.

Rhoads served as Pittsburgh's defensive coordinator from 2000-2007 before leaving to take over the same position with the Auburn Tigers. He became Iowa State's head coach one year after that, and has since compiled an 18-19 record over three seasons, with a 1-0 record in bowl games. His Cyclones are due to play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 30.

For more on the Panthers, please visit Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pittsburgh blog. For the Cyclones perspective, please visit Wide Right & Natty Lite, SB Nation's Iowa State blog.


Pitt Coaching Search: Paul Chryst Profile

An interview with Wisconsin writer John Veldhuis on Paul Chryst's tenure with the Badgers.


Arizona State President: Pittsburgh 'Not Ultimately Accepted' By Graham's Family

"It wasn't me, it was you."

That appears to be the latest message coming from the Todd Graham camp after the coach's abrupt departure from Pitt to Arizona State on Wednesday as Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic reports:

"We had to get to the core of what this was really about," Crow said of Graham's job-hopping. "I'm convinced in talking to him for several hours that going to Pittsburgh was not something his family ultimately accepted. There's a big difference between central Texas and the East Coast. As a Sun Belt state, Arizona is more of a blend with Texans, Californians and Minnesotans. Do I think it's an issue? No."

Graham wouldn't go into details but said his family had a terrible time in Pittsburgh.

So a self-proclaimed "family man" who told his players he was "here to stay" just days ago would have been "here to stay" in a place that was giving his family a "terrible" time had Arizona State not come along and offered him a job. 

In the business, we call that a non-sequitur, which, ironically, includes the word "quit."


Pitt Football Coaching Search: Candidates Beginning To Surface

The Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise has released his list of some tentative names to keep an eye on for potential candidates to replace the recently departed Todd Graham. Many names are familiar ones, but there are a few others.

The list of coaches that Pitt has apparently contacted includes Ohio State interim head coach Luke Fickell, Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads, Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren, Wisconsin offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, and former Illinois head coach Ron Zook.

Zeise also mentions several others as possibilities – guys we’ve all heard before and either have ties to Pitt or the area, including Teryl Austin, Tom Bradley, Greg Gattuso, Frank Cignetti, and Sal Sunseri.

A few of these names intrigue me, but some aren’t all that enticing, in my opinion. Paul Rhoads, for example, did a fine job while he was Pitt’s defensive coordinator, but his track record at Iowa State has been extremely unflattering in the past three years since he’s been the head coach.

For more on Pitt’s coach search and Todd Graham’s departure, check out SB Nation Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.


Pitt Coaching Search: Bud Foster 'Very Interested,' According To Report

As Pitt looks to replace Todd Graham, who vacated his head coaching position with the Panthers to take over at Arizona State on Wednesday, the university might be looking to its new league, the Atlantic Coast Conference, for an answer.

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster spoke to ESPN's Heather Dinich on Thursday and didn't hide his feelings about the idea of moving to Pittsburgh.

Dear Pitt: Foster is still available, and he's "very interested."

Last year, Pitt contacted Foster but he didn't go for the interview. He and his wife talked about it, but it just wasn't the right time. Now?

"I'd be very interested in the potential," Foster said.

Foster's Hokies defense was ranked No. 8 nationally in points per game allowed this season, conceding just 17.2 points per contest. The Somerset, Ken. native has lead Virginia Tech's defense under Frank Beamer since 1995 and previously coached at Murray State, where he played from 1977-1980.

Dinich believes Foster would be a perfect fit at Pitt. We'll see if athletic director Steve Pederson and Co. feel the same way, or lean toward coaches with Pitt connections like reported frontrunners Teryl Austin and Paul Rhoads.

Foster's Hokies will face Michigan in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3.


Pitt Coaching Search: Paul Rhoads, Teryl Austin Reportedly "Leading The Way"

Updating an earlier tweet tweet that named Florida International's Mario Cristobal as a "frontrunner" to replace Todd Graham at Pitt, WPXI's Rich Walsh now reports he's hearing Iowa State's Paul Rhoads and the Baltimore Ravens' Teryl Austin are "leading the way" as well.

Rhoads, a longtime defensive coordinator under Walt Harris at Pitt, just finished his third season with the Cyclones. He has an overall record of 18-19 in Ames and led his team to a 6-6 record this season that included an upset of No. 2 Oklahoma State on Nov. 18. His Iowa State squad will face Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 30 in New York.

Austin, a Sharon native, played his college football at Pitt before filling assistants roles in the college ranks at Penn State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, Michigan and Florida and at the professional level with the Seahawks, Cardinals and Ravens. His last college job was with the Gators, where he was defensive coordinator in 2010 under Urban Meyer during his final season in Gainesville.

For all the latest on the Pitt coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Pitt Coaching Search: Mario Cristobal Reported Frontrunner

Just over 24 hours after coach Todd Graham bolted from Pittsburgh to take the head coaching position at Arizona State, it appears the brass in Oakland may already be narrowing their choices for his replacement. WPXI's Rich Walsh tweets that Florida International's Mario Cristobal is currently a frontrunner. 

Cristobal just finished his fifth season with the Golden Panthers of the Sun Belt and has a 24-37 career record as a head coach. After losing seasons in his first three years at Florida International, however, he has led his team to back-to-back bowl appearances in 2010 and 2011, as well as a conference title last year. The 8-4 Golden Panthers will face Marshall in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl on Dec. 20.

The 41-year old played his college football at Miami (FL) and served as as assistant with both the Hurricanes and Rutgers before taking the job at FIU in 2007.

For the latest on the Pitt coaching search, stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh.


Chad Voytik Remains Committed To Pitt After Todd Graham's Departure

In the wake of coach Todd Graham's departure from Pitt to Arizona State on Wednesday, the status of the Panthers' 2012 recruiting class is in flux. Quarterback recruit Chad Voytik, however, a player many Pitt fans are hoping could be an answer to the Panthers' consistency problems behind center, still appears to have his heart set on taking up residence in Oakland.

ESPN's Andrea Adelson quotes an interview with the Dave Hooker of Recruiting Nation over on the Big East Blog. 

"I'm pretty set, honestly, on Pittsburgh. Since I committed there, I have been. I just want to keep the guys in our class together. They're going to bring a great coach in. As long as we stick together, we're the ones going to be on that field ... then we'll be fine."

It looks like his commitment remains pretty solid, which, after news that star running back recruit Rushel Shell intends to stick things out with Pitt as well, indicates the core of Pitt's class should remain intact through the transition.


Todd Graham To Arizona State: Fun With Wikipedia

Todd Graham has been the ridicule of local and national media for the way he left Pitt to become the new head coach of Arizona State’s football program. That scorn wasn’t limited to only mainstream media, however.

Someone’s apparently been having fun with the entry page for Todd Graham at Wikipedia. Tonight his page briefly stated the following:

Todd Graham (born December 5, 1964 in Mesquite, Texas) is the head football coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils.1 He was previously the head coach of the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes and the Pittsburgh Panthers. He also has family near every Division I college campus, while also possessing a dream of coaching at all of them, which gives him a convenient excuse every time he bails on a program after less than two years. Known for his high octane offense, as well as his honor and integrity. Just ask him.

And just in case you missed the actual page, here’s a screenshot of it. Graham, of course, totally deserves this. The page has obviously since been removed, but one has to wonder just how inaccurate the entry was.

For more on the coaching situation at Pitt and Todd Graham’s departure, check out SB Nation Pitt blog, Cardiac Hill.


Todd Graham Press Conference: Pitt Media Reacts To Arizona State Introduction

Former Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Todd Graham was introduced as the Arizona State Sun Devils head coach today at a press conference. The reaction from the Pitt area on the move to the ASU job hasn't been very flattering, including the play-by-play of the press conference on Twitter by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review sports columnist Dejan Kovacevic.

Listening to Graham presser, it's at least assuring to know there's one institution -- ASU -- dumber at hiring football coaches than Pitt. 

Graham at ASU presser: "It's the first job I've ever taken that has benefited my wife." ... Good God. New rule: Only way Steve Pederson keeps his job is if he can get ASU on Pitt's 2012 schedule. Home game, of course, just to annoy the wife. 

Graham to Pitt players: "I reached out to them only way I knew how. I didn't want them to hear about it on the news. Wouldn't be right." Graham said he plans to "return to Pittsburgh" to talk to the Pitt players in person. I'll bet that's well-attended. 

"The only thing that me and my family would endure all this, go through all this, would be for Arizona State University," Graham said at the press conference. Shortly after, Kovacevic tweeted a quip about the Pitt players filing a restraining order if Graham ever wanted to talk to them. He then signed off Twitter, noting that listening to Graham "turned his stomach." That's not hard to imagine watching a press conference by a coach who just a year earlier preached the same thing in his introductory Pitt press conference, integrity, discipline, loyalty.

The method in which Graham left the university after a very disappointing season has certainly left a bad taste in the mouths of alumni, fans, and even the local media. The reaction by Kovacevic isn't isolated.

For more on the Pitt head coaching search and the Todd Graham resignation, check out SB Nation's Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.    


Todd Graham Hired At Arizona State: Press Conference - Second Verse, Same As The First

For those Pitt fans who heard or watched it online, lots mentioned in Todd Graham’s initial press conference at Arizona State sounded eerily similar.

Graham brought up his family to kick off the presser as he did at Pitt and the youngest child was again adorned in the appropriate team garb. The new coach then proceeded to discuss the same qualities he espoused in the Panthers’ press conference less than a year ago: integrity, discipline, loyalty. You name it, he said it.

Some news that came out of it was that apparently Graham’s wife Penni has reason to be there since her parents live in Arizona. Graham repeated several times that this was the first time he’s ever made a coaching move that’s benefited his wife.

Other than that, though, it was your standard Todd Graham presser. Promises of championships, how much he loves tradition, and of course, talk of a high octane offense.

Yeah, good luck with that.

For more on the press conference and Graham’s departure, check out Cardiac Hill.


Todd Graham Headed To Arizona State: Will Tom Bradley Get Consideration?

With the news that head coach Todd Graham has left Pitt for Arizona State, it’s probably a bit early for any real speculation of potential replacements. But one name that’s sure to be rumored is Penn State defensive coordinator and interim head coach Tom Bradley.

Bradley was considered after Michael Haywood was dismissed, but eventually passed over in favor of Graham. While he was a long-time assistant at Penn State, he has ties to western Pennsylvania and was believed to have strong interest in coming to Pitt.

The thing that may hurt Bradley, obviously, is the recent Penn State scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Pitt may not want to bring questions or any baggage from that scandal into the university and while Bradley certainly brings a great many positives to the table (stability and the knowledge of the local recruiting base, to name a few), that may not be enough.

For more on the Pitt head coaching search and the Todd Graham resignation, check out SB Nation’s Pitt blog Cardiac Hill.


Rushel Shell Keeps Pittsburgh Commitment Despite Todd Graham Leaving

Despite coach Todd Graham's abrupt defection from the Pittsburgh Panthers to the Arizona St. Sun Devils, at least three of his recruits have indicated they plan to honor their commitments to the university. Wide receiver Marzett Geter, who's verbally committed to Pitt, explains via Twitter:

Me, Dokata, Rushel shell just had a talk. We are sticking together. #HailToPitt

Here, Geter refers to quarterback Dakota Conwell and running back Russel Shell, the last of whom is a big-time prospect for Pitt. "Shell is a consensus top 50 recruit in the 2012 recruiting class and is one of the top 5 running backs for 2012," notes Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pitt blog. Shell chose the Panthers over the Alabama Crimson Tide, among other highly respected programs, so the fact that Graham's defection hasn't deterred him from joining Pitt bodes well for the Panthers going forward.

As a junior in 2010, Shell gained 2510 yards on 323 carries (a 7.8-yard average) for Hopewell High School. He scored 32 touchdowns.

For more on the Panthers, please visit Cardiac Hill, SB Nation's Pittsburgh blog.


Todd Graham Leaves Pitt: Players Continue To React

The Pitt football team is reeling early this afternoon with news that coach Todd Graham has accepted the head coaching position at Arizona State, replacing the fired Dennis Erickson.

With the Panthers now set to begin their third head coaching search in just over a year, players continue to react in comments to reporters and posted on their Twitter pages.

ESPN's Joe Schad:

One Pitt player said: "I was told to check my phone and I said 'Wow' I couldn't believe it was real. I was shocked."
Dec 14 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply


Wide receiver Cam Saddler.

I stop pulling that rope months ago, and thinkin about that pitt way and I knew there was a reason why I just wasn't sure!
Dec 14 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply


Wide receiver Mike Shanahan.

Mike_Shan87Michael Shanahan
B_Walsh2Brian Walsh
in reply to @B_Walsh2

@B_Walsh2 who knows all he talked about was how much money he had he probably got more money
Dec 14 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply


Needless to say, the players are pretty fired up. Not only has administration fired Dave Wannstedt, a coach many current Panthers played under, but also hired Mike Haywood and Todd Graham, both of whom left the program in one form or another in less than a year. It's hard to imagine how they're feeling in the middle of all of this news.


Todd Graham Notifies Pitt Players Of Departure To Arizona State Via Text Message

The Trib reports that (now-former, I guess) Pitt head football coach Todd Graham let the Panthers know of his departure to Arizona State by sending a text message.

Pitt’s players were informed in a statement from Graham that was sent via text by assistant athletic director/football operations Blair Philbrick.

“I have resigned my position at Pitt in the best interest of my family to pursue the head coaching position at Arizona State,” Graham said. “Coaching there has always been a dream of ours and we have family there. The timing of the circumstances have prohibited from telling you this directly. I now am on my way to Tempe to continue those discussions. God Bless. Coach Graham.”

Classy! I’ve always heard text-message breakups are a good idea. Although I suppose, given the circumstances, Graham’s choice of medium makes sense – it wasn’t like he and Pitt were married or anything. I mean, they hadn’t even been together a year!

For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.


Todd Graham To Arizona State Departure Appears To Be Confirmed

The rumors of the departure of Pitt head football coach Todd Graham have now been confirmed by many sources. In fact, you could probably now say that the move appears all but certain. Brett McMurphy:

Pittsburgh official confirms to @CBSSports Todd Graham headed to Arizona State

That means Pitt will be hunting for a head coach for the third time in a year. After the departure of Dave Wannstedt, they picked Mike Haywood, but let him go after Haywood was arrested for domestic violence. Then it was Graham. Now, after one mediocre season, the Panthers will be on the coaching carousel yet again. It’s been a tumultuous year for Pitt, with the departure of two coaches and the school’s own departure from the Big East to the ACC. But it appears there will be more turnover.

Pitt fans, meanwhile, will have a new villain in Graham, who left with incredible speed. (Let’s just call it “high-octane” speed.)

For more on Pitt football, check out Cardiac Hill.


More Reports Link Pitt's Todd Graham To Arizona State

Reports that Pitt coach Todd Graham is heading to Arizona State are coming in fast and furious now. Both the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Paul Zeise, the Panthers beat reporter for that publication and ESPN's Joe Schad are now saying their sources have confirmed news of the defection.

The Sun Devils fired former coach Dennis Erickson on Nov. 28 and have been tied to a number of coaches, namely Utah's Kyle Whittingham, in their search since that date. Graham's name never surfaced in any reports until news began trickling out early Wednesday afternoon that he'd already accepted the position there.

This will leave Pitt in its third coaching search in just over a year. The Panthers fired Dave Wannstedt on Dec. 7, 2010, then hired former Miami (OH) coach Mike Haywood on Dec. 16, 2010. On Jan. 1 of this year, however, Haywood was fired after being charged in a domestic dispute. The charges were later dropped, but Pitt hired Graham as Haywood's replacement on Jan. 11.

Stay tuned to SB Nation Pittsburgh for the very latest on this breaking story.


Pitt Coach Todd Graham Leaving For Arizona State

Reports indicate Pitt coach Todd Graham is heading west.

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