PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes, Pitt football head coach Pat Narduzzi, and Panthers legend Jimbo Covert stopped by “The Fan Morning Show” on Friday for a special announcement.
During the show, Barnes officially announced that Covert’s No. 75 will be retired by the Pitt football program during Saturday’s rivalry game against Notre Dame.
“This is a two-time first team All-American, an All-Pro player on some of the best teams in the history of Pitt football,” Barnes said. “We couldn’t be more proud of what Jimbo has done for us in giving back, in being involved in our university…his play stands for itself. If there’s ever a no-brainer for an AD, this was a no-brainer.”
Covert, an offensive lineman who went on to become a two-time All-Pro and 1985 Super Bowl champion with the Chicago Bears, credited Pitt for giving him his start.
“I am very humbled by it,” Covert said. “I owe a very big debt of gratitude to Pitt…and I think back on the time there with coach [Jackie] Sherrill, and I also owe a really big debt of gratitude to [former Pitt offensive line coach] Joe Moore, who I think was the greatest offensive line coach that ever lived. I owe my entire career to him, because he prepared me not only to play at the next level, but to be a better man and a better person, and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Narduzzi feels blessed to be running a program with such an illustrious history.
“It’s amazing,” Narduzzi said. “You walk around our building, and you just get amazed by all the great players and coaches that have played at Pitt, and coached at Pitt.”
Covert was asked about whether or not he thinks an argument could be made that the offensive line he played on at Pitt was the best in the history of college football.
“I think so,” Covert said. “We had so many great players there, and all five of us that I started with in 1980, all were starters as rookies in the NFL. It’s unprecedented. You just don’t see that very much. The guys I played with there, all the way from Russ Grimm, and Bill Fralic, and Mark May, and Emil Boures…Pitt is kind of the glue that keeps us together, and we’re all still close to this time, and it’s a family. And I told Scott [Barnes] when he came here that that’s what Pitt is – it’s a family, and we have a bond that’s kind of unbreakable, that people keep for their whole lives.”
The occasion became even sweeter, though, when Covert got another surprise – a call into the show from the star quarterback he protected during his playing days at Pitt, the legendary Dan Marino.
Marino, who will be serving as Pitt’s honorary captain as a slew of legends return for Saturday’s game, paid tribute to his former teammate.
“I’m happy, bro” Marino said to Covert. “You and I have been friends a long time, and just to be a part of this whole weekend – I’m excited for everybody at the University of Pittsburgh, and just all our friends and our teammates for you to get this honor, bro, and you deserve every bit of it.”
The full announcement and ensuing interview can be heard here: