PITTSBURGH – While Todd Graham’s entire coaching staff isn’t entirely in place, the big pieces are coming together.
Graham brought five coaches with him to sit in the second row at his introductory press conference Tuesday evening: Paul Randolph, Keith Patterson, Calvin Magee, Mike Norvell and Tony Gibson.
Graham pointed out how excited he is to have these pieces of his staff together with a rather bold claim.
“This is going to be the best coaching staff that I’ve ever worked on, hands down,” Graham said.
Here’s a brief bio on each coach, explaining what they will be doing at Pitt and what they have done in the past:
Randolph’s official title is senior associate head coach. In other words, he’s Graham’s right-hand man. He’ll also be in charge of the defensive line at Pitt.
Randolph’s defensive lines have been relatively successful in recent years. In 2008, the Tulsa defense ranked No. 37 in the country in rush defense, which was good enough for second in Conference USA.
Randolph has also spent time at Alabama, which he left to coach with Graham at Rice. His other stops as a coach were at West Virginia, Toledo, Illinois State, Valdosta State and Tennessee-Martin.
Patterson will serve as Pitt’s defensive coordinator. He previously spent eight seasons at Tulsa – seven with Graham, who was his roommate in college.
He coached 10 all-conference players at Tulsa, three of which were first-team all conference at the linebacker position. Before coaching at Tulsa, Patterson spent 16 years coaching high school football in Oklahoma and Texas.
Norvell will serve as Pitt’s co-offensive coordinator. He will also be the team’s passing game coordinator, which he was at Tulsa. He’ll also work with the Pitt wide receivers.
Norvell coached G.J. Kinne to an outstanding season in 2010. Kinne finished with 3,650 passing yards, completing just under 60 percent of his passes for 31 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions. In turn, Tulsa had five different receivers finish with 350 yards or more for the year.
Norvell was a graduate assistant at Central Arkansas in 2006, where he coached wide receivers and running backs.
Magee will be the other co-offensive coordinator, coming over from Michigan. He was responsible for one of the nation’s top offenses at Michigan.
The Wolverines were 36th in the country in passing (250.2 yards per game), 13th in rushing (238.5 yards per game) and 25th in scoring offense (32.8 points per game) in 2010. He was also the offensive coordinator at West Virginia in the Rich Rodriguez years, when Steve Slaton, Noel Devine and Pat White ran wild in the Big East.
Graham said at his press conference that Magee is “one of the best offensive minds I’ve been around in the business.”
Gibson will coach Pitt’s defensive backs and also be the program’s recruiting coordinator. He spent last year at Michigan as well, serving as assistant head coach to Rodriguez.
Gibson was WVU’s recruiting coordinator under Rodriguez as well.
Chris Gates | Area 4-1-Z00 Blog