masthead.jpg

January 11, 2011

Graham Wins the Press Conference

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Graham,Media — Chas @ 10:01 pm

Judging by the Tweets and comments, new Pitt Head Coach Todd Graham made a lot of people feel more than really good about the hire. Excited, thrilled, juiced. His energy was palpable. Apparently it also extended to some of the players as there are reports that Cameron Saddler and Ray Graham both phoned into The Fan to express their own excitement over Todd Graham.

There is no way to avoid the comparisons to the Mike Haywood presser last month. Where Haywood was really brief — the whole press conference clocked in at 25 minutes with AD Steve Pederson speaking for more than five minutes, this one went a bit over 35 minutes with a very short intro by Pederson.

Where Haywood was stoic (stone-faced?) and spoke only of discipline and molding young men; Graham was animated and spoke openly of wanting to win championships.

Graham was glib and ready for nearly any question. About the only time he looked even momentarily flummoxed was when one reporter asked him about his comments the previous week, “You know, my wife informed me that if I go anywhere I’ll be going by myself. So, that’s a little hard for me right now being 46. I don’t really want to do that.”

It took him  a moment there. I don’t know if he was surprised that anyone up in Pittsburgh saw that quote, or if he just expected softball questions in his introductory presser. He did recover, to essentially say that they talked a lot about it and made the decision. Unsaid was that the money helped.

Graham set the bar high for himself. No question. Recruiting rivals loved throwing out the “wall around Western Pennsylvania” quote from Wannstedt’s opening presser every time a decent recruit from the WPIAL didn’t choose Pitt. No doubt plenty of people have filed away some of Graham’s quotes.

Whether it was about winning — the Big East, a BCS bowl, BCS Championship — or about whether he is a short-termer looking for a bigger team/deal, “Just watch and see.” We will and plenty of others will as well.

He also stated that the 2011 recruiting class isn’t salvageable, it will be the finest class (in the Big East? Pennsylvania? Ever? In hindsight? He didn’t say). He and his staff are ready to get out recruiting. He has hired a bunch of guys from DickRod’s Michigan/WVU staff. Something that can only help in recruiting.

In fact, he stated that while there are still a couple coaching spots unfilled, it was vital to get seven spots filled immediately so they can get out on the road recruiting.

I’m calling it now. The Spring Game is going to have its biggest turnout — ever.





I kept waiting for him to throw in the floor mats if I bought the undercoating.

Comment by backacrosstheriver 01.11.11 @ 10:06 pm

Graham wins the pc, SP loses the fan base.

HE MUST GO!

Comment by Z#2 01.11.11 @ 10:14 pm

The money that came into the football program when Coach DW came in to coach is proven by one glaring fact. Get a football program before Walt left, compare it to DW’s last home game program. The football scholarships almost DOUBLED! Look at the donor lists. All catagories nearly doubled! Has anyone looked at how many points they have with the Panther Club. I guarantee that even if you gave more money over DW’s coaching tenure that you dropped in point placement over all. My point is that if we weren’t winning why did so many dedicate their financial resources to our team? Because we love our school. That wasn’t SP, that was DW and the promise of winning more. Can you imagine if we went to a BCS Bowl. Now judge Coach Graham by his winning and how it correlates in to increased support in the donor department and ticket sales.

Comment by Z#2 01.11.11 @ 10:23 pm

I have to admit that I am excited for next season.(unlike after the Haywood presser). I still have that feeling that I just bought snake oil to cure my pain. Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words!

Comment by JW in Raleigh 01.11.11 @ 10:26 pm

I am sold. Period. Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Little Prexie 01.11.11 @ 10:28 pm

Given all that happened over the past month or so, I can’t imagine Pitt coming out any better than they seemingly did given the circumstances. I don’t quite understand why they wouldn’t go after this guy harder in the first place (and also what exactly impressed them about Haywood when compared to this guy) but his arrest might be a “break” for Pitt in the long run.

I am very interested to see if he can pull some recruits back in over the next few weeks or bring new ones into the fold. Next year, however, I think there is enough talent left that they can win 10 or 11 games (and I read an article where he said the same thing).

Comment by Mac 01.11.11 @ 10:28 pm

Watched the presser. The guy comes across well, seems dynamic, and said all the right things.

However, I will wait to see if he can fulfill his promises. Its already too late for him to try and convince Baldwin and Lewis to stay since they have apparently already signed with agents. Don’t know about Hynoski. He gets a pass on that sorta promise since he probably didn’t know about their signing with agents already.

He also promised the current (2011) recruiting class will wind up being a great one. I am waiting on that promise to see what happens between now and LOI day on Feb. 1st. I hope he can salvage enough of the original class, supplement with some Michigan commits, and add a few other quality players late and get the promised quality class. But, I am skeptical for now.

Finally, seemed to promise Pitt will win big immediately. So, I think that means at least 9-4 next year, or more likely 10-3. Hope he is right about that also. But, again, I am skeptical and will wait and see before judging.

Comment by pitt1972 01.11.11 @ 10:32 pm

Graham is not the first highly-regarded offensive-minded coach to bring a pass-happy style to Pitt. Walt Harris did it (remember “Wide Receiver U?”), and the results were the same as Wannstedt’s– 7-5, 8-4 with one year of backing into a tie for the conference championship. I wish him the best. Enthusiasm is great, but only takes you so far.

Comment by Navy Panther 01.11.11 @ 10:34 pm

I must admit that I’m a little bit puzzled that Wanny won about the same amount of games in the BE as Graham had in CUSA over the past 3 years, and has 0 CUSA titles (Wanny shared 1 in BE) … yet he is being paid about twice amount that Wanny was making.

Comment by wbb 01.11.11 @ 10:54 pm

@wbb – I think it’s more difficult to win at Tulsa than it is at Pitt, all things considered. Pre-Kragthorpe Tulsa football was pretty pathetic.

Graham has a lot more upside than Wanny does/did, in my opinion. It’s possible he could flop, but I could also see him producing results similar to DickRod’s las 3 years at WVU, too. There is risk in this hire, but there is potential for great reward, too. I like it.

Comment by maguro 01.11.11 @ 11:04 pm

i guess some people weren’t following pitt football before walt took over or during his time as coach. the program was in shambles. walt rebuilt the program. gave it to wanny coming off a BCS game. wanny failed to improve the program. failed to even get back to the bcs. i’d take walt and wide receiver u over wanny’s boring play not to lose the game approach. walt harris with larry sold out heinz field. Attendance for Panthers games has varied from an average high of 59,197 people per game throughout the 2003 season to a low of 33,680 in 2007. Pitt averaged 53,446 in home attendance during the 2009 season and 52,165 in 2010.both below what walt did in 2003. but anyways I like what i’m hearing from graham

Comment by druc 01.11.11 @ 11:11 pm

You said 7 coachs i saw 5 plus Graham who did i miss? Michigan has 12 recruits most are 3 stars our old class of 18 was mutch better. still i would take them if we could get them.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.11.11 @ 11:20 pm

High-octane. Explosive. Speed, speed, speed. Explosive power. All out of the mouth of Graham today. Music to my ears. Beats a couple yards and a cloud of dust any day. The present has finally arrived at Pitt. I expect exciting, wide-open play and will be sorely disappointed if he doesn’t pull it off. I can only hope that the recruits, wins, and conference championships will follow.

Comment by Scott 78 01.11.11 @ 11:23 pm

@FRANKCAN,

I’m less concerned about the number of stars next to their names and more concerned about whether they’ll fit into his style of play. I also look for Graham to immediately cast a wider net and find some kids who are excited to play in a system that produces 1,000 yard rushers and receivers and 4,000 yard passers. All things being equal, what kid wouldn’t want that opportunity? Add all the positives of playing for Pitt and I think he’s going to surprise us. It might be too much to expect it to happen in the short period before LOI day, but I’m hopeful he and his staff are going to surprise us.

Comment by Scott 78 01.11.11 @ 11:36 pm

Scott who are the 7 coachs i only know of 5 do you have the names

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.11.11 @ 11:43 pm

Druc, good points. My point was that I think that a lot of people equate wide-open offense with championships. One doesn’t necessarily lead to the other.

Let’s not confuse style with substance. Winning is what matters. I’d take a 10-3 record built on power running over a 9-4 record scoring 40 points per game, anytime. We can win via shootout, but lots of pass attempts that don’t eat the clock can put a huge strain on the defense when their stuck on the field 2/3 of the game. There was wisdom to Wannstedt’s brand of football, even if it wasn’t always well-executed.

I wish nothing but the best for our new coach, but there is no one coaching style that guarantees wins. Graham’s style has both upsides and downsides.

Comment by Navy Panther 01.11.11 @ 11:50 pm

@FRANKCAN,

You’re right about the number who were at the press conference. I can’t remember if he said there were two more who weren’t there. I don’t recall him mentioning them by name. Anyway, here’s what the PG said:

Graham introduced five of his assistant coaches, who were in attendance at the press conference. They are: senior associate head coach/defensive line coach Paul Randolph, defensive coordinator Keith Patterson, co-offensive coordinators Calvin Magee and Mike Norvell and recruiting coordinator/defensive backs coach Tony Gibson.

Randolph, Patterson, and Norvell all worked under Graham at Tulsa and Gibson and Magee worked with him on Rich Rodriguez’s staff at West Virginia and the two most recently worked for Rodriguez at Michigan.

Read more: link to post-gazette.com

Comment by Scott 78 01.11.11 @ 11:53 pm

Here’s some good news it looks U Conn is going to hire the guy from the Charmin Commercials of the 70’s & 80’s

YES way to go Mr Whipple.

Please don’t squeeze the Huskies?

Comment by Tony In Harrisburg 01.12.11 @ 1:12 am

Why Did Todd Graham And Tulsa Bomb In 2009?

link to cardiachill.com

Interesting. Also interesting about GJ Kinne, the 2010 Tulsa QB possibly available to play at Pitt. See the comments. Don’t know if its legal, but there you are.

Comment by Spanky 01.12.11 @ 3:14 am

Food for thought, and food for falling a little out of love with Todd Graham:

link to tulsaworld.com

Comment by backacrosstheriver 01.12.11 @ 5:17 am

Excellent article, backacrosstheriver. “Wait and see” is right. Also love the take on SP.

“The Pitt release said, Graham is “widely regarded as one of the finest offensive minds in the country.”

Huh? He is? Since when?

Graham’s lengthy and impressive resume as a college assistant coach is totally for his work on defense. The only losing season he had at TU came when he decided to take over the play-calling duties when Gus Malzahn left for Auburn. ”

I’ll remain cautiously optimistic. No reason to name streets and babies after him yet. No reason to hate him either.

Comment by Chuck Morris 01.12.11 @ 6:08 am

Thanks for the article backacrosstheriver, what struck me was the take on SP:

“Pederson, who almost destroyed Nebraska’s football program when he was the school’s AD, was loathed and feared throughout the Cornhuskers’ athletic department during his blundering reign of terror.”

I think he’s doing the same thing here.

Comment by WH-Lovin' MEDIOCRITY' 01.12.11 @ 6:24 am

SO I’m happy with the hire. I think he’s what Pitt needs, w/ Holgorson now at WVU, we need a high-powered offense.

BUT, I think he needs a STRONG supporting cast, and I don’t see that happening. I’m good w/ the offensive staff, and I’m good w/ Gibson who worked at Michigan…..

Other than that, i’m VERY worried about him bringing in essentially the SAME defensive staff that ran Tulsa’s TERRIBLE defense…I’m worried that our D is gonna be wayyyyy lacking until he steps up the defensive staff…

Comment by NavyPanther2 01.12.11 @ 8:01 am

I believe he can win early with the guys they have now. This years recruiting may suffer, but win big and he can make up the difference next year.

Comment by Pittastic 01.12.11 @ 8:37 am

He certainly won the press conference. I felt much better about the hire after hearing him and especially more about his offensive philosophy. Looks like he has surrounded himself with some good assistants. Its clear that he was probably very impressive in the interview. he definitely knows how to sell himself and tell people what they want to hear.

But now the talking is over and time to show that you deserved the big $$$. I am curious to see what he does with the recruiting class with just a few weeks left.

Ultimately I am very pleased that DW or Haywood are not our coach. Graham brings a lot more to the table but I am still taking the “wait and see” approach.

I found it interesting that he had such a weird answer to the question of his committment and loyalty to Pitt since he has been known to continuously look elsewhere. I would like to have heard a more convinving answer than wait and see….but I guess I’ll wait and see.

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.12.11 @ 8:37 am

Panther cynics: Pitt football is moving into the 21st century of college football. Living in SEC land, I see this (high-energy, fast-paced) type of football all the time. Just look at what Auburn did to Oregon. Oregon was supposed to be a fast-paced offense, Auburn’s offense matched Oregon’s offense, ultimately wearing down their defense. Let’s get on the Todd Graham band wagon and let him win our respect. He deserves our support.

I no longer look at Pittsburgh as being a “blue collar” town. Ever since the steel mills and Westinghouse (where I was once employed) closed, Pittsburgh transformed itself into a banking and technological city. Pittsburgh has some of the finest colleges and universities in the world; Pitt is one of them. Let’s get over the past and look toward the future. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 01.12.11 @ 8:39 am

Someone should of asked at the press conference if he has any plans on recruiting a center. It seemed to slip the mind of our last coach.

Comment by Z-Boy 01.12.11 @ 8:42 am

wbb:

Why are you still defending Wannstedt’s record at Pitt? He clearly did not outperform his predecessor, Walt Harris. He did not win a conference championship while being in first place with 3 games to go and needing one win for three years IN A ROW. He had one bowl victory and one loss that was the worst football game anyone ever saw. He had numerous losses to MAC schools. He lost to UCONN 4 times. Lost to Rutgers 3 or 4 times.

Why did you want this guy to stay?

Comment by Omar 01.12.11 @ 9:28 am

Much has been said about Graham’s offensive prowess, but I hope there’s at least a similar emphasis on defense. I remember back, not too many years ago, when Pitt didn’t have the speed or ability to stop a troop of Girl Scouts.

Any idea of where Graham will go with the D?

Comment by Lou 01.12.11 @ 9:28 am

You get what you pay for!

Obviously Todd Graham is the best candidate for the Panthers HC position.

I thought that Bradley would have been a nice fit. I felt all the recruits around here would want to come to Pitt because of Bradley.

After listening to Todd and with him bringing the Todd Rod offense to Pitt there is no doubt in my mind that this will sell to recruits.

I have spoken personally to the last 2 head coaches at Pitt. Walt was not an impressive person to speak to.

Dave had a glow around him. He was an impressive football person and very personable.

Graham is electric. He builds confidence when he speaks. He is of the Gundy, Miles mold as a speaker. Both OSU coaches who must have impressed the hell out of their AD when they were hired.

Jimmy Johnson is also someone who comes to mind when I hear him speak. All of these people match the personality of the type of HC that is now popular in selling a message to recruits.

He says it like it is and seems as though he knows exactly what will work. After listening to his press conference I have no doubt that he will bring success.

Comment by Pitt Man 01.12.11 @ 9:28 am

He seemed confident, he seemed organized, and he seemed like he’s driven to win. All would be improvements from his predecessor. I especially liked that he stressed that his offense was not a spread, and that fullbacks and tight ends would have a place on this roster. Hopefully Hank gives returning another look.

This coach has been successful at Rice and Tulsa, both places with far fewer resources than what he’s going to be working with now. I’m measured in my expectations for next season, but excited to see what he can do.

Comment by 85 01.12.11 @ 9:31 am

Did anyone notice while listening to the press conference that there were applause after each of the assistant Coaches were introduced.

It seemes like the applause were such that the people that were there were impressed such that they felt they were in the presence of some accomplished professionals.

This seemed to be lacking in the last and all other previous new hire Pressers.

I just have a feeling that these coaches are going to sell the message. Watch the recruits over the next 2 weeks and we shall see the results.

Thats my guess

Comment by Pitt Man 01.12.11 @ 9:37 am

haven’t been to a Pitt spring game in quite a while. I may drive up from Georgia to watch the game this year. I saw what Paul Johnson did to improve GA Tech’s football program and believe Todd Graham can elevate Pitt’s football program too. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 01.12.11 @ 10:09 am

What about going after some the Michigan CURRENT PLAYERS? Brady Hoke runs a west coast offense. Neither of the two Michigan QB’s fit. Wouldn’t Tate Fourcier or Denard Robinson look great at Pitt in 2012?

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.12.11 @ 10:16 am

I really enjoyed the pep-rally and I’m ready to sigh on the dotted line for my 5 year subscription of whatever product he’s selling.

Graham certainly has charisma and confidence and hopefully he can do half of he says about bringing in this year’s recruiting class. Because it will make a big difference, if he can. Walt Harris did a terrific job his first year and fell off dramatically on year 2, because he didn’t have the players. He had made the mistake of staying at Ohio State through their Bowl game rather than hitting the recruiting trail right away.

What I liked the most about Graham’s comments is that he said Pitt’s personnel fit well into the system he plans to run. That they use two backs and tightends in their offence. That they are not a spread offence but a no huddle up-tempo one. This if true, is very important because he will not have completely change Pitt’s personnel to fit his system which would take 2 to 3 years. He also commented that you build you offence around the players that you have. This in itself is a very different philosophy than Rich Rod’s. Rich Rod is dedicated to the spread and in each of his last two jobs at WVU and Michigan he had to recruit different talents to run his system. At Michigan players transfered out because they didn’t fit.

Comment by Justinian 01.12.11 @ 10:16 am

WINNING TALKS, BS walks. I remember Wannestedt’s press conference quote like it was yesterday. “I know what it takes to win national championships, I’ve been there”. Well, we know how that worked out, don’t we. Don’t get me wrong, I like the hire. “Show me”, is all I ask, starting with getting this year’s recruiting class out of the toilet before it gets flushed away in three weeks. Gotta give it to him however he sure knows how to say the right things. Betcha he could make the ugliest girl at the party feel pretty after talking with her for 5 minutes!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.12.11 @ 10:56 am

Hey I feel a lot better about this hire, than I did about Haywood.

Comment by Justinian 01.12.11 @ 10:59 am

couple notes:

apparently Dion signed with agent… gone
hopefully Todd gets one of them to come back (hyno/baldwin)

tate forcier academically ineligible and skipped a team meeting… can we get him to transfer with Magee??? anybody but tino!

denard doesnt fit in hoke’s offense, apparently looking as well

rob bolden?

any recruiting updates?

Comment by DeVanzo 01.12.11 @ 11:26 am

Based on Dion’s comment…’Coach said I was ready’…DW left his last mark on the team.

Comment by markp 01.12.11 @ 11:38 am

Tate Forcier is really a talented mobile quaterback, that would be nice. I would imagine that he would have to sit out a year. Isn’t that what Priestly had to do when he came over from Ohio State with Walt Harris?

Comment by Justinian 01.12.11 @ 11:39 am

I thought that after the end of the season that Wannstadt should get one more year, espectially with the class that he was bringing in, to right the ship…when that didn’t happen and Haywood was hired, I thought “this guy is going to take us to the next level???…am I missing something???”…needless to say, I was not impressed…then the “New Years Eve Miracle” happened and it was as if God said “You have suffered enough” and we got a second chance…I think and hope that we got it right this time…i was impressed with him and in particular that he had most of his staff with him when he was announced as coach…I can’t wait to see how they recruit and what changes they have in store for us…now lets bring back the mustard gold (we ain’t Navy or Notre Dame) and the script…Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Leaseman 01.12.11 @ 11:44 am

One question:

Denard will be a junior next season.Will he lose a year of elegibility or will he be a junior if he plays here in 2012?

Comment by Salgado 01.12.11 @ 11:46 am

What never ceases to amaze me is that the players always go with an agent long before they need to.
There are resources for them to look at their options, weigh them carefully, and make sure you’re making the right long term decision. Dion is a small back and although talented, probably won’t go very high in the draft. Another year with a high flying offence could mean a lot more money for him in long run.

Comment by Justinian 01.12.11 @ 11:52 am

I agree with MariettaMike that the long drive to Pittsburgh might be worth it to see the spring game. There is no doubt that the offense will be very exciting. There will probably be very little defense in the game. It will interesting to see how the defense develops. The 2011 schedule gives the coaches two games to implement and debug it before the Iowa game. We better not pull a Wanny and have a close game with Buffalo!

Comment by John in South Carolina 01.12.11 @ 12:00 pm

Leaseman, we had the Navy Blue and Gold long before the mustard. Majors switched to the mustard and royal blue when he came in, to change things up. We just went back to the origional colors. I’m fine with the colors.

Everything else that you said, I agree with!

Go Pitt

Comment by Justinian 01.12.11 @ 12:00 pm

I was pulling for Bradley (although I scream Penn State Sucks during Sweet Caroline)like some others on here, but was quite impressed with our new coach’s PC. His poise and enthusiasm was refreshing and encouraging, given ecent events. Not concerned about him leaving in 4-5 yrs as a “stepping stoner”. Johnny Majors put in a good 4-5 years here and moved on (before moving back). I too am concerned about his DC/old roommate, especially with our returning LBs and D-backs, which have not impressed to date. Hopeful he can recruit a hitter in the secondary and some cover corners, which we sorely need. Liked Fourcier at MICH and would love to see him here, but also curious/excited to see what Myers and Gonzalez will do with a legitmate opportunity at starting QB (not a Tino fan). Relieved the agony of the botched coach search is over, and constructive criticism/comments have returned to this board. HTP. Kick ass tonite at Georgetown

Comment by Bossdaws 01.12.11 @ 12:26 pm

Justinian… that’s misleading

dyes, etc werent really an option in the 1890s… many programs started with basics and moved to others to identify themselves throughout middle of 20th century

we are not navy and we are not notre dame… royal blue and mustard is Pitt

navy and gold will ALWAYS be Navy
and to a lesser extent, Notre Dame
(sorry, biased)

Comment by DeVanzo 01.12.11 @ 1:02 pm

If we win, I would be ok with it. If we win enough, I could even learn to tolorate those awful all white “Penn State like” uniforms that they wore during the Cumpus Bowl.

Comment by Justinian 01.12.11 @ 1:19 pm

Being down South, I don’t get Pgh media, but watched a highlight clip of the intro of him speaking. I liked what I heard. Sure we need to see what happens on the field (hell even recruiting) but given his coaching record, along with his comments – he seems to have a specific vision and decisive nature about him and i look forward to seeing a faster Pitt team.

I like Wannie, but he the team’s potential was not realized under him, so hopefully we finally see the team at a higher level.

Comment by JoeP 01.12.11 @ 1:39 pm

Guessing everyone saw this from Zeise, but just in case…

“Well, one donor is apparently fed up with all the negativity and wanted to make sure he/she could offset the others and so today, said donor anonymously gave $100,000 to the Panther Club and specified that it go to the football program because he/she approved of the hiring of Todd Graham.”

link to blogs.sites.post-gazette.com

Comment by TampaT 01.12.11 @ 2:18 pm

God damn it, I told the Panther Club to keep that on the down low. Thats the last ime I open my checkbook that wide.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.12.11 @ 3:09 pm

Comment by BigGuy 01.12.11 @ 3:17 pm

One guy gives 100k (which I think was a made up story) there are at least 10 people like me who give at least 5k a year that are withholding their donations until steve goes.

There are also quite a few who give 75k + who are withholding their donations until steve goes.

Ditka gives big money as does Dorsett, Fralic, May and Marino. All of them have said they are not giving as long as steve is there.

steve should have never been brought back the second time, so it’s time for steve to go.

steve must go and go now.

Comment by WH-Lovin' MEDIOCRITY' 01.12.11 @ 3:33 pm

By the way, let me say that I bleed blue and gold. I have for 44 years. I LOVE my school and always will.

I support my school and will continue to support my school, but I have to in good conscious withhold my money from the athletic department until steve is gone. I do not feel that it is in the best interest of the school for him to remain and I do not feel that he has served this school to the best of his ability. Truth be told, I don’t think he has the ability to take this program into the future.

After his first go round, I was appalled when they brought him back. He was run out of his home state on a rail just short of being tarred and feathered. If he did that to his alma mater, what makes you think he really cares about this program?

I support the new coach and I hope that he will take this team to the level that Dave couldn’t. Because of that, I will keep my six end zone seats, but will drop my club seats.

Until steve is shown the door, I cannot in good faith contribute anymore money to the program.

I still love the school and still bleed blue and gold but will not tolerate steve any more.

Hail to Pitt

Comment by WH-Lovin' MEDIOCRITY' 01.12.11 @ 3:44 pm

[...] As a Pitt alum and decade-long season ticket holder (who now teaches at WVU), I felt a sense of foreboding and familiarity when I read this anecdote.  Pederson’s back in charge at Pitt, and seems to have weathered the disaster of a head coaching search he just completed. [...]


TG is saying the right things:

Dear Panthers Fan,

It is an honor and privilege to be your football coach at the University of Pittsburgh!
As I write this, I am not even 24 hours into my new job. But I wanted to reach out to you – the driving spirit behind the Panthers – to introduce myself and express my excitement in joining this outstanding university.

As I entered our practice facility yesterday, I was immediately struck by the awesome tradition that is Pitt football. It is a tradition of commitment and honor — and championships. Before I was a football coach I was a football fan, so it was a powerful moment for me to stand in front of the glass-encased lockers of John Majors and Mike Ditka, two men I’ve long admired for how they played and how they coached.

As Pitt’s new head coach, I am very aware of Pitt’s tremendous legacy. It is my promise that we will honor Pitt’s great tradition and work to build upon it. I believe there isn’t a football program in the country that has more potential for future greatness than the University of Pittsburgh.

I wanted to share with you our goals for Pitt football. They are, in order:

Produce men of character and integrity. If we don’t achieve this goal, then we can never reach our other aspirations.
Graduate every single one of our players. I want every young man who comes under our watch to earn their degree from this prestigious university.
Win the Big East Championship. It is our goal to bring home the Big East title on an annual basis.
Win a BCS Bowl. When competing on college football’s biggest stage we want to shine.
Win the national championship. We know this to be the standard for Pitt and Pittsburgh!
Nothing great is accomplished in this life without teamwork. Our players and coaches need you – the Pitt Family – to help us achieve our lofty goals. I know you share our championship vision and we look forward to working with you to make those championship moments, on and off the field, a reality.

Tuesday’s press conference was an incredibly memorable moment for my family and me. But as soon as it was done, I immediately went to the film room to begin analyzing top recruiting prospects for this class. The quest for greatness begins today.

Again, I’m honored to be your head coach. Thank you for your support and “Hail to Pitt!”

Sincerely,

Todd Graham
Head Football Coach
University of Pittsburgh

Comment by BigGuy 01.12.11 @ 5:17 pm

Powered by WordPress © PittBlather.com