After all the reports and partial confirmations, it’s now official – Michael Haywood is Pitt’s next head football coach.
Haywood will bring some fire and will look to breathe some new life into a program that’s been consistent over the past few seasons, but not spectacular. Many Pitt fans may not be sold on the move, but it’s the opinion of Steve Pederson that matters. And he obviously is pleased with Haywood:
“From my very first meeting with Michael Haywood, it was obvious that the qualities he exhibited were in line with the values of this great University,” Pederson said. “Michael has tremendous pedigree, having been mentored by some of the very best coaches in the game. His history at outstanding programs with outstanding coaches gave him a rare combination of experiences and background. Most importantly, Michael is a man of character and integrity and will be an inspirational leader for our football program.”
Approximately 24 hours later after the news had started to break and it’s still a tough sell for me at this point. The Haywood hire strikes me as one that would be made after several candidates already turned down the job.
One thing I’ll say for Pederson is that this is clearly not a safe hire. He’s going out on a limb a bit with this one, considering Haywood doesn’t have a great track record of success as a coordinator or head coach. While this move may not cost Pederson his job if it doesn’t work out, it’s easy to argue that it should.