PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – New Pitt Panthers head coach Todd Graham says he is trying to balance a new-school image with an old-school feel.
Since Graham arrived at Pitt, he has worked to upgrade the team’s decade-old practice facility.
He has installed all new flat-screen televisions and equipped his assistant coaches with iPads. Graham wants them to use the technology when they go out on recruiting trips.
However, once those recruits arrive at Pitt, they are expected to act like old-school players.
Graham does not allow his players to wear earrings and bandanas or use “filthy” language. He is also pledging that his players will look sharp on and off the field.
Graham is striving to avoid having his players involved in off-the-field incidents. He has said that if a team member is involved in an off-the-field situation, “there’s going to be accountability, period.”
While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Graham addressed that aspect of his job. He listed that the team’s biggest goal is to “develop championship fathers and husbands,” followed by winning the Big East.
“Half our kids are going to come from families that don’t have a father presence,” Graham said. “I believe that one of the greatest challenges that we face today – I believe this – is a lack of respect for authority and a lack of understanding and respect for family.”
On Tuesday, Graham did talk some football, saying he will continue to instill a high-tempo spring practice. He says he wants his team to “line up and snap the ball more than any other team in the country.”
However, Graham didn’t not address who will be the starting quarterback for the Panthers. Tino Sunseri will be competing against red-shirt sophomore Kolby Gray who has moved back to the quarterback position.
Spring practice will begin March 15 and runs each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday up through the spring game at Heinz Field on April 16.