PITTSBURGH — A few moves were made over the weekend, making Pitt’s list of options a bit clearer.
The University of Florida hired former Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, filling the void Urban Meyer left by retiring last Wednesday. Muschamp didn’t seem to be high on Pitt’s list, but his hire means Florida is not plucking from the coach-in-waiting pool.
Staying in the state of Florida, Al Golden accepted the head coaching job at Miami. He leaves Temple — where he went from 1-11 in his first year to winning 17 games the last two seasons — to replace Randy Shannon.
Golden seemed high on Pitt’s list of candidates and there were even some rumors being spread over the weekend that said he was prepared to take the Pitt job. Clearly those were false and with him off the market it is clear who Pitt’s top candidate likely is: Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.
Holgorsen reportedly has interviewed for the Pitt job. He engineered one of the most exciting offenses in the country this year with the Cowboys, ranking No. 2 in the nation in passing yards (354.7 a game), No. 29 in rushing yards (182.9 a game) and No. 3 in points scored (44.9 a game).
Those types of numbers are hard to ignore, which is exactly why he is labeled as one of the top available candidates. Those types of numbers typically put people in seats as well, which has to be attractive to Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Athletic Director Steve Pederson.
Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette says in his blog that Holgorsen is Pederson’s top target. He has not been made an offer, but Zeise says he could in the next few days.
And for what it’s worth, several Pitt players tweeted about Holgorsen in a positive way over the weekend. I have to imagine he would be welcomed by the offense, given the type of talent Pitt returns next year on that side of the ball.
I try not to post too much about topics like this, a coaching search, because there is so much crap to sift through. Personally, I don’t believe in writing a story based on reports from “sources.” My belief is that if you can’t publish the name of the source you shouldn’t publish or paraphrase his or her words.
Too many people do that to get hits on their website or cause a stir and I think it’s wrong. It’s nearly impossible to get a read on anything or anyone because, typically, most people are lying up until the press conference is announced to introduce the new coach.
Thus, I’ll update you when concrete moves are made. Like today, it’s clear that Pitt’s top candidate is now Holgorsen with Golden off the market. Stick by the blog and I’ll update you with any more information as it comes to me.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog