4-1-Zoo: Pitt Coaching Search Update

PITTSBURGH — Some more news has surfaced regarding Pitt’s coaching search.

From what I’m reading and hearing, the pool of candidates is thinning down to a two-dog race, if you will. The top two serious candidates appear to be Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley and Tulsa head coach Todd Graham.

Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin still appears to be in the mix as well.

***UPDATE, 1/7/11 at 8:20 p.m.Paul Zeise at the Post-Gazette reports that Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster has interviewed for the Pitt head coaching vacancy as well. Teryl Austin and Stanford assistant head coach Greg Roman are scheduled to interview tomorrow for the job.***

The Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise reports in his blog that Bradley is still “a leading candidate.” However, it’s not a sure thing as WTAE made it out to be on Wednesday night.

He goes on to say that Graham is expected to interview with Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg at some point today. That’s huge because Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson made it clear that this new search will involve at least two different interviews — a preliminary interview with Pederson and an assembled staff to determine serious candidates, and then a final interview with Nordenberg.

That means Graham has now become a very serious option for the job. Bob Smizik confirms that report in his blog and says he believes that makes Graham the leading candidate.

As for Bradley, he was rumored to be interviewing at UConn for the Huskies’ head-coaching vacancy. It was then rumored he pushed his interview back to Sunday.

***UPDATE, 1/7/11 at 5:45 p.m.Bob Smizik updated his blog, saying that Bradley will interview on Sunday at UConn. His update reads, “That contradicts an earlier report, I know, and my apologies for that incorrect information.” Smizik wrote around 3 p.m. that is appeared Bradley wouldn’t interview at UConn.***

Bradley is clearly interested in the Pitt job and, in my opinion, he would rather stay a coordinator at Penn State than go to UConn. Bradley wanted the Pitt job in 1996. He wanted it again in 2004. Both times he didn’t get it. All signs point to that he’s still very interested, which means a lot.

Many people would get fed up with being turned down for the same job multiple times. Not Bradley, which speaks to his desire for this job.

However, it is significant that he is meeting with UConn. Zeise reported Friday evening that Bradley has yet to have a second meeting with Pitt officials.

So what does this all mean? It means there is still very much to be determined. The active candidates appear to be Bradley, Graham, Austin, Foster and Roman.

Now, I’m guessing here, but if I had to pick when a coach will be hired I’d say Sunday. I think Pitt will make its decision Sunday evening and a new head coach will be introduced Monday.

Who the coach will be is an entirely different story, but I’d still say it’s between Bradley and Graham.

If you need introduced to either coach you can read my post from this morning. It gives a brief bio on Bradley, Graham and Austin and why each one is a good candidate for Pitt.

Either way, that should make Pitt fans very happy.

Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog

  • Randy T

    Fire Pederson!~
    Hire Bradley!
    It’s that darn easy!
    Restore Pride! Restore Tradition! Restore PITT!

    • Bye Bye Pederson

      I agree
      Hire Bradley now and let him pick (and pay) his assistants
      Then fire Pederson before the ink dries on Bradley’s contract
      I wouldn’t even let Pederson appear with Bradley when the announcement is made
      Pederson has made Pitt a national laughing stock
      Let’s see if anyone ever hires Pederson again

      Hey Steve, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out
      And thanks for everything

    • Brad

      Why should they hire Bradley? Can you give me facts as to what he has done. Restore tradition? He coached at Penn st .. How in the name of god does that restore tradition?

  • Western Psych Called

    Bradley must be a bit kooky. He waits around for 30 years for the PennState job that he wont get anyway and now he doesnt want to coach anywhere but Pitt?

  • Regis

    Am I the only one that is wondering why someone who has been an assistant for 32 years is now all of a sudden the #1 prospect for all available head coaching jobs within driving distance of Happy Valley???

  • Norm

    For the simple fact that the finalists for the Pitt job now are all better than Mike Haywood even before the choke hold should be grounds to fire Pederson for incompetence.

  • Gary

    If Pitt doesn’t hire Bradley, Pitt is dumber than dumb!

    • Brad

      Why should they hire Bradley? What has he done.. I would like facts

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  • Eric

    Why did Temple pass on Bradley?

    • Brad

      Because he has done squat as a coach . He has gone to less bowl games in the last ten years than Pitt, with more talent . That’s why.. So what if he can recruit in west. PA .. He SHOULD be able to, there are only 2 schools worth a darn in the whole state. Call me when he can recruit in Florida, Texas and California

  • Sooner

    New Years day I told you Todd Graham was the one. I guarantee he will bring a winner to pitt.

  • pitt fan

    Pitt fans- keep the heat on! ESPN is reporting that major financial contributors are threatening to give nothing unless Pederson is gone. Keep up the good work!



  • Mon River Towing

    The only way Pederson can save his job now is to return to the script Pitt uniforms, change the school songs to original, build an on campus stadium with private money, erect a statue to Dan Marino, reopen the Attic, and jump of the Cathedral and live

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  • bill

    Hey Brad,
    In case you have been living under a rock the last few years, Bradley has been runnning PSU with an anchor around his leg (JoePa). He recuits well and the number one thing is, he has the referal of Dan Rooney and the entire Pittsburgh Steelers. Just in case you are not aware of how well the Steelers know football, go check the record book. You and Steve Pederson are both morons.

    Hail to Pitt.

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