Spitballing a bit here, so bear with the incoherence.
As posted by Reed, SF 49ers defensive line coach and Ron Jeremy non-stunt double, Jim Tomsula appears to be poised to join Paul Chryst’s new staff at Pitt. The initial thought was that he would be the defensive coordinator. He is loved by 49er fans. I am not sure, though, about him becoming the defensive coordinator. Why?
There are reports that Wisconsin Linebacker coach Dave Huxtable will be coming to Pitt.
Pitt: We have learned that Wisconsin linebackers coach Dave Huxtable (2011 Linebackers Coach of the Year) will be joining Paul Chryst’s staff at Pitt. Huxtable coached the linebackers at Wisconsin this season and served as the defensive coordinator at Central Florida prior to that.
Huxtable coming to the Badgers last year, was something of a coup for Wisconsin. Obviously it paid off for both, but if he’s coming to Pitt it would not be to remain the linebacker coach. The guy has been a DC at UCF, UNC and GT. The extra plus side, is in recruiting since he has spent the last 20 years in North Carolina, Georgia and Flordia berfore last year in Madison. Considering the desire to recruit in Florida, plus Pitt heading to the ACC, a coach like Huxtable would be a very good hire. Whether it is real or not, remains to be seen.
The other side of this, assuming these hires come to fruition. It appears Keith Patterson, the defensive coordinator last year and presently Pitt’s interim head coach, is going to be out.
I admit to some mixed feelings about this one. I realize the impulse is that anyone associated with Fraud Graham should be swept out, but that impulse was part of what happened post-Wannstedt and is not the smartest plan for continuity and trying to get beyond perpetually rebuilding.
From a coaching standpoint and continuity, it is always good to try and keep at least one or two coaches on the staff. Whether it is for recruiting reasons or to simply bridge the transition it is a common practice. Also, the defense noticeably improved throughout the season, so from a plain coaching standpoint it wouldn’t be a negative.
As it stands, Patterson was only one of maybe a couple coaches that could have been retained without redundancy. Todd Dodge is unlikely to be retained as QB coach. Not when the head coach can handle that position and does not adhere strictly to the same style. I feel bad for Dodge. He got lured here out of his comfort zone, and just got screwed by Fraud Graham like others.
O-Line coach Spencer Leftwich did a great job when you look at the talent and injuries suffered on the line — and an extra bonus for making Turley into an effective center in such short time, but the new OC is an O-line coach, so it seems unlikely. D-line coach Paul Randolph reportedly has told Pitt that he will be leaving after the BBVA Bowl to join Fraud Graham.
Randall McCray, OLB Coach and special teams coordinator, may actually remain. He has worked with Chryst at Wisconsin. Albeit, McCray worked as a position coach and recruiting coordinator there from 2006-09.
The other thing is that Patterson didn’t flee with Fraud Graham at the get go. This despite their very close ties. Patterson looked very shaken after Graham left and spoke that day. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it, but I don’t think he saw Graham’s actions coming and I doubt he was in agreement with them. If Patterson isn’t retained, I hope he gets an opportunity somewhere else away from Graham.
Patterson abruptly lost his father in November. His father was a longtime high school coach — who actually demonstrated the loyalty and devotion to family Fraud Graham preached. Those are events that have a big impact on your outlook on things.