The early lists of possible football head coaching candidates are starting to surface. Some names are predictable, while others are not.
Here are a few as mentioned by the Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise and Bob Smizik:
Tom Bradley (Penn State defensive coordinator) – Bradley actually does have some Pitt roots as his father played basketball at the school, but make no mistake – he’s a Penn State guy. Could I see it happening? Sure. But I could also see him leaving if the PSU job opened up down the line.
Frank Cignetti (Pitt offensive coordinator) - The luster has worn off of Cignetti a bit since last season, but he’s still probably the in-house person with the best shot at landing the job.
Dana Holgorsen (Oklahoma State offensive coordinator) – Three words…offense, offense, offense
Sal Sunseri (Alabama linebackers coach) - Former Pitt player, former Pitt coach, son is current Pitt QB. If you’re looking for a ‘Pitt guy,’ this might be as close as you come.
Mike Leach (Former Texas Tech head coach) - I really don’t see this happening as he had issues with bosses at his last job.
Paul Rhoads (Iowa State head coach) – Former Pitt defensive coordinator that was the target of many fans. Had some good defensive units, but I think the Wannstedt move was made, in part, to fan outcry. Hiring Rhodes would bring more of the same.
Al Golden (Temple head coach) - Eyes towards Penn State. Even if he would come to Pitt, not sure they’d want to risk the embarrassment of eventually losing to the Lions.
Any number of non-BCS head coaches – The list of ‘breakout’ guys or guys that have had success already (i.e. Chris Petersen at Boise State) is long. Too long to digest.
Whatever direction Pitt goes, one thing is certain. There are going to be plenty of quality options.