During Pat Narduzzi’s first few weeks as the head coach at Pitt he was trying to get things set up for his first head coaching job in the Steel City, all while trying to prepare for the Cotton Bowl where he’d face the explosive Baylor offense in his last stand as Michigan State’s defensive coordinator.
While Narduzzi has had his share of challenges as a first time head coach in the FBS, he explained that the hardest job to date had been hiring the right mix of guys to fill out his staff.
“That’s probably the hardest job I’ve had so far, putting together a staff and getting the right people,” Narduzzi told MLive.
“Too often you see guys, (like) Charlie Strong in one year at Texas, he’s already fired two guys and you look throughout the country and after one year, boom, they (assistants) can be gone. That can’t happen at Pitt, and that can’t happen anywhere I’ve been in charge.”
“Continuity has been a big thing for me at Michigan State and Cincinnati. One of the reasons Pitt was such an attractive job is because it’s a job where assistant coaches can come and be happy as long as the head coach stays there.”
As a defensive guy, Narduzzi’s approach at Pitt had originally been to focus on the defense, and let offensive coordinator Jim Chaney run the offensive side of things without much direct supervision, but a number of guys that Narduzzi has talked to has recently have advised him against that approach, at least to start with.
“My initial intentions are to let it go, but through this last month, I’ve talked to a ton of head coaches that say, ‘Hey Pat, keep your hands on it early, then let it go — don’t let it go and have to come back in,’ which makes a whole lot of sense,”
“I don’t want to be one of those guys where you are so into it that it drives you nuts,” he added. “My job is still to coach all the coaches and make sure practices are run the way we want them to be run and organized.