4-1-Zoo: Pitt Coaching Search, Monday Update
PITTSBURGH — It is now being reported that Todd Graham has accepted Pitt’s offer to become its next head football coach.
***Update, 4:25 p.m. — The Tulsa World reports that it appears Graham’s decision has been made and he’s going to take the Pitt job. Sources within the TU athletic department were quoted, saying this:
“Todd has just left the building and gone home to pray about this with his wife Penni. But Pittsburgh already has a plane in the air headed to Tulsa to pick him up.”
There is also word of a Pitt charter plane on its way to pick up Graham in Tulsa. By all accounts, this coaching search is done and Graham is the new head football coach.
***Update, 4 p.m. — NewsChannel 8 in Tulsa says that it’s a done deal — Graham will take the Pitt head coaching job.***
Fox 23 in Tulsa reported this morning that multiple sources say Graham has received an offer from Pitt and is waiting to see if Tulsa will match it.
The station went as far as guaranteeing it:
As one source told FOX23 Analyst Kenyatta Wright this morning, I think Graham to Pitt is “a done deal.”
***UPDATE, 3:40 p.m. — Multiple reports say that Tulsa has scheduled a team meeting for 3:30 p.m. The team held a meeting last night at 8 p.m., so this is probably another telling sign that Graham is coming to Pitt, it’s not known if Graham will be in attendance.
The report also states that the first offer to Graham was worth $1.6 million. He didn’t accept, asking for more money for he and his assistants.***
***UPDATE, 1:50 p.m. — Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette reports that an offer is on the table between Pitt and Graham and there is a deadline in place. If Graham does not accept the offer by tonight it is expected Pitt will move on and continue its search.***
As we should know by now, even reports that seem guaranteed really never are until someone is standing behind a podium at the Pitt practice facility in the Southside. WTAE reported last Wednesday that Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley had received an offer and accepted the Pitt job.
That never happened.
So be wary, but all signs right now point to Graham being the next Pitt coach.
A ton of news is currently breaking on this search so stop back often as I’ll be updating as often as possible.
Graham held a meeting with his team last night, which he reportedly always does the day before classes start, and touched on several subjects at the meeting. Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World reported this Sunday night:
“Reports indicate that Graham has interviewed for the head-coaching vacancy at Pittsburgh, and he could be the school’s top candidate. Graham didn’t end the speculation that he could leave. He told players that he had to do what was best for him and his family, according to a source.”
This is just another sign pointing to Graham possibly being the next hire at Pitt. Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette wrote in his blog yesterday that “Pitt officials are talking about the framework of a contract to make Graham the next head coach of Pitt.”
KDKA-TV confirmed Sunday night that Graham is the only candidate to interview twice with Pitt officials.
***UPDATE, 10:15 a.m. — Former Pitt quarterback and current quarterbacks coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Alex Van Pelt, has surfaced as a candidate for the Pitt job, according to Paul Zeise of the Post-Gazette. This is the first his name has been mentioned thus far in the search.***
Many Pitt fans have become enamored with Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley ever since Mike Haywood was fired and he is still a serious candidate. However, he met with officials from UConn Sunday in Dallas for the Huskies’ job opening and there’s been no report of a second interview between him at Pitt officials.
*** UPDATE, 10:15 a.m. — Bradley may not be a guaranteed thing — a lock to want the job — as many have assumed, per Zeise.***
Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman reportedly interviewed with Pitt on Sunday, and Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin reportedly interviewed at some time last week as well — leaving their names in the mix.
Keep checking back to this post as I’ll be updating it as often as I can with any news that surfaces. If you want more immediate updates you can follow me on Twitter.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog