Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Graham starts with very strong staff

By Chris Dokish

In what may have been the perfect press conference to excite Pitt fans, new Pitt head coach Todd Graham introduced his first five members of his staff, and they are impressive. They include:

Calvin Magee- Co-Offensive Coordinator- The 47-year old Louisiana native recently was the offensive coordinator at Michigan after following Rich Rodriguez from West Virginia. Will handle the running backs. In 2007 won the Frank Broyles Award given to the best assistant coach in the country. Big time addition.

Mike Norvell- Passing Game Coordinator- Only 29 years old, but is considered one of the fastest rising assistant coaches in the country. A major coup to get him to come along because he would get other major offers. A native of Irving, TX.

Keith Patterson- Defensive Coordinator, LB Coach- Make no mistake about it, the 46-year old Oklahoma native is considered a very good coordinator. Yes, the points and yards numbers were not good but there were reasons. One, Tulsa plays a huge number of high powered spread offenses in that part of the country and in that conference. Two, his offenses run a lot of plays and score often so the defense is on the field a lot. Three, it's very hard to get high quality defensive prospects to Tulsa. He did get interviewed to be the Texas A&M defensive coordinator so he's hardly a bum.

Paul Randolph- Associate Head Coach, Co-Defensive Coordinator, DL Coach- Graham's right hand man came with him from Rice. The 44-year old Georgia native was once named by Rivals.com as one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation.

Tony Gibson- DB Coach and Recruiting Coordinator- The 38-year old West Virginia native both played and coached for Rich Rodriguez and coached for him at West Virginia and Michigan. Will be the main face on the recruiting trail for Pitt.


At 4:32 PM, Blogger John In South Carolina said...

I agree that Graham's coaching staff is impressive. Apparently Pitt is going all out with its spending for Graham to afford this staff. I heard the same thing about the Tulsa problem recruiting the defensive secondary on The Fan. From the offensive standpoint we are in excellent shape. The key to this hire is the defensive side.

Chris: Being a recruiting expert, do you think he has enough time to salvage anything from this year's class?

At 4:36 PM, Blogger Chris Dokish said...

I don't know about salvaging it. I'm sure he will get who he can in the limited time he has, and I'm guessing he will get a few good players in that mix. The problem is, sometimes you get kids your new staff was recruiting and in this case that means kids who were going to Tulsa, and that may be a stretch to get them all the way to Pitt, and the Michigan guys who were unemployed. So I don't know if he will add any there. The first kid I would call is Bill Belton. He is a future star and he could be an All-American in this offense.

At 4:56 PM, Blogger John In South Carolina said...

With regard to recruiting Belton from New Jersey, Gonzalez should be dancing in the aisle as well. That assumes he is an accurate passer. He should becomes a major player in the QB race.

At 8:44 PM, Blogger Bob said...

I heard Graham say that Tulsa's defense improved greatly later in the season. Apparently they were starting as many as seven freshmen on defense.

At 10:19 PM, Blogger Chris Dokish said...

I heard that, too. I'm not saying his defenses will ever be great at Pitt but I suspect they won't be among the worst in the country either.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Punxy Panther said...

how about jarrett, chestnut, & Deonte Gibson ?
they seem to me the most important players from Wannstadt's class.
Are they leaning to coming back to the fold?

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Chris Dokish said...

It looks like it's too late for those guys. I wouldn't expect much this season in recruiting but I expect a big time class next year.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Punxy Panther said...

Thanks, although after listening to Graham's intro I would not rule anything out.


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