Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi will be the next head coach at Pitt, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. The deal has yet to be finalized and is not expected not be announced until after Christmas. Barring any eleventh-hour breakdown, Narduzzi will be announced following the Christmas holiday.
Narduzzi is considered the top defensive coordinator in the country, and he received the 2013 Frank Broyles award for the nation’s top assistant coach. He has led the Spartans to a top 10 finish in the NCAA’s total defense statistics for each of the past four years.
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Narduzzi topped a field that included Marshall head coach Doc Holliday, Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell and Pittsburgh assistant Joe Rudolph. Narduzzi interviewed for the Colorado State job in Las Vegas on Sunday night but declined interest in order to pursue the position at Pitt. Yahoo Sports first reported that he was emerging as the leader at Pitt. He replaces Paul Chryst, who left to become Wisconsin’s head coach last week. Chryst’s departure led to the removal of athletic director Steve Pederson.
Narduzzi will be Pittsburgh’s fifth head coach since 2010, but the Panther’s move to the ACC in 2013 and Chryst’s three-year tenure have brought relative stability to the program recently. Chryst posted a 19-19 record, reaching a bowl game in all three years. The Panthers went 6-6 this season, including a 4-4 mark in ACC play, and will play Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2.
Narduzzi will inherit a team rife with young talent, including All-America tailback James Conner, talented receiver Tyler Boyd and quarterback Chad Voytik, all of whom will be juniors next season.