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


One Comment

  1. Nate S. says:

    Big Pitt football fan speaking:
    A MOCKERY is and will continue to be Pitt’s program. Fire Pederson and hire TOM BRADLEY. Although i am a Penn State hater at heart, Bradley is the best and only option to provide stability and make Pitt a strong national contender.

    Todd Graham… what has he ever done? Coached Rice, and Tulsa… 2 jobs in five years… what makes all of you Todd Graham lovers out there so sure it wont be 3 jobs in 6 or 7? You know very well that say, Pitt wins 10 or 11 games next year, would he be a hot coaching prospect for say, Texas or USC or whoever? They’d offer him twice what pitt would. This guy is a clown.

  2. Tom says:

    Don’t worry about Pitt winning 10 or 11 games next year. Though the Big East is very weak for football, that is still more games than Pitt can win. Second, if Bradley were that good, Penn State would have named him as the coach in waiting.

  3. Randy T says:

    Fire Pederson!
    Hire Bradley!
    PITT Golden Panthers need to hold back all monies until this happens!
    Hail PITT!
    Tulsa? Tulsa? Tulsa? Tulsa? Tulsa?
    R U Kidding Me????

  4. John says:

    pederson MUST go – Hire Bradley already. Can Pitt be so stupid that they don’t hire Tom Bradley?? Oh yea – they have proven it time and time again.

  5. Chris says:

    It is no wonder the PItt program has been less than average since the early 80s. I thought the PSU administrators were idiots, but Pitt’s seem to take the cake here Bradley is definitely Pitt’s best option based on his recruiting history in western PA. Not to mention a very good coach. He has not been named coach in waiting because Joe does not want to. Plus, it is rumored that President Spanier wants to go outside the program for the next hire. Being a PSU guy, I would like to see Bradley get a HC job, but definitely not at Pitt as he definitely has the potential to get you guys to the next level.

  6. pitt fan says:

    Pederson has to go immediately after whomever is named coach.

  7. JW says:

    Todd Graham – are you kidding? Spent 1 year at Rice before going to Tul$a. Does it look like he was upgrading going from Conference USA to…Conference USA!?! $trictly a money grab, but hey, he learned from Rich Rod. He may bring an offense that can score points – Tulsa averaged 41.4 PPG and 503.5 YPG this past season, but in a town that LOVES DEFENSE, he’s not a fit – Tulsa gave up 31.1 PPG and 442.6 YPG. As a Pitt season ticket holder, I’d love to see a high powered offense, but I also don’t want to see the other team racking up a ton of yards/points and sweating out a 56-50 win like Tulsa did against perennial power Southern Mississippi. Even if Graham did win here, I agree with all of the above comments that he’ll jump to the next high $$ job whether its in 1, 3 or 5 years – his track record proves it. Also, his OC just jumped ship for the SAME position at Clemson, the question here is WHY?? Sure, conference upgrade, of course, learned money grab behavior, but is there also a possibility that he’s not a good guy to work for?
    I too am on the “Pederson Must Go” bandwagon. To not hire Bradley is inexcusable. The only reason Bradley wouldn’t get the job is because Pederson is too headstrong and egotistical. Too many people from the Rooneys, boosters and fans support Bradley and Pederson wants to try and prove that he knows more than all of them. Bottom line Steve – you share a facility that the Rooneys have sunk considerably more money into than Pitt, the boosters are very big part of the financial lifeblood of the university and football and basketball revenue generators that the university needs to support the football and the other athletic programs that Pitt offers, but without fans – no revenue.

  8. tom says:

    we can complain all we want but that idiot peterson is going to do what he wants, you want to sell tickets and fill the stadium than hire who the fans want to see hired. it is not that he is not qualified for the job the reason penn states joe pa recomens him is so his son can get the job WAKE UP

  9. jtowner says:

    the rooney family endorsed tom bradley enough said. Only a idiot wouldn’t take there advice(peterson)

  10. Jason in Columbus says:

    I agree, Tulsa? for a gazillion dollars then lose Jamie Dixon cause you paid someone from Tulsa?

    Pitt will not get my money.

  11. Vern says:

    Steve Peterson was seen interviewing Walt Harris at a restaurant in California,PA
    Rumor is he will work cheap!!!

  12. Scott says:

    I cannot believe where this program is right now. A little more than a year ago we played Cincy for the BEC at Heinz Field, and we lost that game in a typical Pitt Football fashion. We started this season ranked in the Top 15 and every thing seemed fine until the “U” came into town and later the loss to UCONN. Wannstedt’s job was in jeopardy the minute we lost to the “U” and I have a feeling that many Pitt Fans including Students, Faculity and Staff can agree that a change needed to be made. It’s been over a month and 3 coaches later(Including Bennett) were in the same positon we were when Wannstedt was fired. Are we playing football next season? I just thought with the possible strike and everything… Oh, this is college football, my fault. Pitt needed to make their decision Yesterday! Hey Peterson… Were losing recruits here. Hopefully they, I mean Peterson can name his head coach today. I would like to see Bradley or even Austin but naming Graham coach would be disastrous. We do not necessarly need a Pitt guy we need a guy that care about the Community, University and bringing Pitt Football back to prominence and hopefully Bradley, Austin or Van Pelt is the answer.

  13. Leroy says:

    Is the Pitt Athletic Administration really this dumb or incompetent. Graham will be the equivalent to the “Death Penalty” SMU recieved from the NCAA

  14. Dave says:

    Petersen want’s an offensive coach and Graham is his man. Defense wins championships and Bradley’s the man..

    1. Ron says:

      No, you need an offensive coach. I agree with the poster above. I did not go to PSU, I went to PItt. I am also objective and PSU’s football program is much better than Pitt’s and if they won’t have Bradley be their next coach we shouldn’t There is a big difference between an assistant coach and a head coach. We had defensive minded in DW. Gee, how did that turn out. No Bradley.

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