PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt, who announced Tuesday he plans to resign as head coach, will coach the Panthers on Jan. 8 in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Kentucky.
Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett reportedly said this to reporters in Birmingham at a press conference for the bowl game:
“He’s just doing some details right now. The plan is he will coach the game, be down here and then go into his role in the administration.”
“He looked at some things and just thought the opportunity was too good to pass up at this time,” he said.
The report also says that Pitt senior associate athletic director E.J. Borghetti said Wannstedt has yet to confirm the decision.
Click the above link for the full report.
I said earlier that I thought it would be an awkward situation for Wannstedt to return and coach the bowl game. He will be doing so while Pitt actively pursues a new coach and likely a whole new coaching staff.
In my mind, that has to be a distraction. A coaching staff will almost surely be in place before the bowl game. Pitt will be in a tough spot if that isn’t the case, given national signing day is less than a month after the Jan. 8 date for the game.
However, I can understand his desire to want to finish the year. Seeing his emotional response in resigning and the players showing up to support him shows there is a deep feeling of family within this team. It would be nice to see Wannstedt finish with a win and even nice just to see him on the sidelines one more time.
However, given the circumstances, I don’t think it’s ideal.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog