4-1-Zoo: Pitt Coaching Search, Weekend Update
PITTSBURGH — News continues to surface regarding Pitt’s search for a new head football coach and it appears, as I posted at the end of the week, that this search has come down to two candidates.
1) Tulsa head coach Todd Graham
2) Penn State defensive coordinator Tom Bradley
And that order seems to be where Pitt’s priorities are, with Graham being the leading candidate to nail down the job.
The Post-Gazette’s Paul Zeise wrote this morning in his blog that Pitt and Graham are close enough that they have started talking about the “framework of a contract to make Graham the next head coach of Pitt.”
He goes on to say that Bradley is still very much in the mix as well.
Bradley interviews at some time today with UConn officials at an undisclosed location for the Huskies’ head coaching vacancy. Also, Pitt has interviews scheduled today with Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin and Stanford offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
***UPDATE, 7 p.m. — Graham has scheduled a team meeting with his players for 8 p.m. tonight. We will likely know a lot more after that point concerning his status.***
Stop back periodically as I’ll be updating this post with any news I come across. For more immediate updates, follow me on Twitter.
I’d like to quiet one rumor: Pitt Athletic Director Steve Pederson has not resigned.
Pretty much out of nowhere yesterday at the Pitt-Marquette game at the Petersen Events Center, people starting talking about Pederson and if he did or did not step down.
It didn’t happen. He was at the bowl game in Birmingham. ESPN chose to run a report on its “bottom line” that said alumni and donors organized a petition for Pederson to be fired.
You can read about some of the criticism targeted toward him here.
That didn’t mean he was. And it doesn’t mean he’s resigning any time soon.
I’m sticking by my prediction at the end of the week: Pitt will make a choice for its head coach tonight. It will be either Graham or Bradley.
So much can still change. Michigan has reported it will talk to LSU coach Les Miles for the Wolverines’ head coaching position. It Miles were to take that job, Graham could be more of a long shot for Pitt because many believe LSU would have a strong interest in him.
Stanford now has a job opening, so Roman is a strong candidate there. Bradley could accept the UConn job tonight and he’d be out of the mix.
In short, a lot of other schools may now have an influence on the Pitt job. Thus, Pitt might want to speed up its decision. Nothing has happened at Michigan, UConn or Stanford yet, so Pitt might be wise to make a move right now to avoid losing popular candidates.
That’s a big reason why I think Pitt will make a choice at some point today. Graham seems to now be “the guy” and I’m sure the university doesn’t want to see him plucked away by a higher-prestige job that offers more money.
So stick by the blog.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Zoo Blog