December 30, 2011

In something of a surprise, Dave Huxtable declined the opportunity to become the defensive coordinator at Pitt, to instead remain the linebackers coach at Wisconsin.

“I’m very flattered,” Huxtable said. “I’m humbled. I love Paul Chryst, in the short time I’ve been here, I’ve become very, very close with him. I think he’s a tremendous person and a (heck) of a football coach. I wish him nothing but the best and I know he’s going to do a great job and have great success at Pitt.”

Huxtable admitted it was not an easy decision for him to make, but said he is extremely happy at UW under head coach Bret Bielema.

“It’s always a hard decision for me,” Huxtable said. “I love this place, I love the guys I’m coaching. Coach Bielema has been awesome to me.

“It was a great opportunity for me to go to Pitt, to get back to a coordinator position. It was not an easy decision. But right now I’m fixed and I’m focused on playing this game. I’m ready to do that.”

I’m sure Wisconsin sweetened the pot for Huxtable, but it seems Huxtable is just feeling a bit comfortable at the moment.

So, back to the Orlando or Tomsula speculation for the next Pitt DC.


Tom Bradley.

/ducks underneath desk/

Comment by Lee in Altoona 12.30.11 @ 4:05 pm

Don’t count on it Lee…That whole staff is radioactive.

Comment by BCPITT 12.30.11 @ 4:11 pm

True to an extent… but Bradley, although he surely heard about Sandusky, didn’t actually witness anything. Does that make him unemployable? And if so, for how long?

He is a hell of a recruiter, especially in Western PA. And the man can coach defense. How many other candidates could Pitt get with that much experience and success? Still, yes, I understand… it is a little too soon perhaps…

Comment by Lee in Altoona 12.30.11 @ 4:15 pm

Nothing to do with the coaching staff but interesting article talking about Pitt’s RB mix next season – no subscription needed.

link to

Comment by BCPITT 12.30.11 @ 4:33 pm

Lee – odds are Bradley knew as much as everyone else about Sandusky’s actions.

He’ll never be hired by PITT.

Comment by Reed 12.30.11 @ 4:40 pm

Agreed. Pitt should not hire anyone who may be forced to resign in the near future.

Comment by Chuck Morris 12.30.11 @ 4:44 pm

I still think that tomsula would be a tremendous hire. as for lee, hiring anyone associated with Penn state is a horrible idea. you don’t think that everyone at pay heard things about Sandusky? odds are there will still be a lot more info coming out about that so psu staff are a no no right now

Comment by pk 12.30.11 @ 5:56 pm

Good thing Paul Rhoads passed … we’ve had enough coaches who couldn’t beat Rutgers. (half joking)

Comment by MelbaPlace 12.30.11 @ 6:45 pm

Too bad about Huxtable. He would have been a good hire. Also too bad about Bradley. He is a good DC but too much of a risk.
What about Randy Shannon? He was in the running for DC at I think Arkansas but didn’t make it. He has a strong defensive background. He knows the ACC and of course has strong Florida connections.

Comment by Houston Panther 12.30.11 @ 6:47 pm

That means huxtable does not want to be a head coach ever . you can go from DC to head coach if you are good but not from LB coach to head coach.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.30.11 @ 6:51 pm

I like the idea of randy shannon as DC but i am sure he wants some one he has worked with before.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.30.11 @ 6:59 pm

We’re Pitt not Penn State. F Penn State. They’ve wanted nothing to do with us for the last 20 years and I really don’t want anything to do with them.

…I had to get that out. My wife’s parents live in State College and I just spent the last week there. I feel dirty, real dirty. Only went into town once and ate at the Corner Room…it made me miss Uncle Sams.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.30.11 @ 7:35 pm

I’m down with Shannon – good recruiter and good character.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.30.11 @ 7:35 pm

Just throwing mud on the wall ken browning has coached at north carolina for 18 years the new HC told him to hit the road.
the last 5 years he has coached the rb but he coached the d line for 7 years knows the ACC like the back of his hand,
and the head coach before this one said if you want to recruit the carolinas you need ken browning he knows every high school coach there is
but he is 66 years old but he looks a young 66 just throwing mud agenst the wall see what sticks

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.30.11 @ 7:38 pm

Kieth Patterson still in play?

Comment by POLE 12.30.11 @ 7:54 pm

Tossing Thabeets SHANNON has character got the kids to go to class and a good DC we could do worse and knows the ACC .
but like i said before i bet it is some one he coached with before

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.30.11 @ 8:07 pm

I agree FRANKCAN. I like Shannon and I would have been fine if he was a candidate for the top spot.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.30.11 @ 8:09 pm

I just got the “mutually beneficial girl jokes” haha

Comment by pk 12.30.11 @ 9:47 pm

Hey, with a Ron Jeremy double at DC and the “mutually beneficial” recruiting coordinator, what teenage boy would not want to sign with Pitt. As long as they are 18yo or older and sign waivers in case they appear in any “recruiting” videos, we will be a school by whom all recruits wull want to be recruited.

Comment by jw in Raleigh 12.30.11 @ 10:11 pm

I posted this a few blogs back…Jimmy and I played football at SV…he was a grade ahead of me. We still talk, he is like having a life coach..when I am down I shoot him a message…always positive…always….he always says hey it aint cancer.

I saw Jimmy a few months back at his Aunts funeral. He said he would like to be home. He made the comment that his pipe dreams have a tendacy to come true. He has a young kid and two teenage daughters. He did bitch about the cost of living and said he really love college coaching and as a side benefit his girl could go to school for free and he could kick ass if she is bothered …really. Jimmy’s drive is not money positions or power. Its about family and coaching. Believe it. When he told me he was going to coach over a beer with several SV grads at Chiodos we thought he was crazy…..10 grand??? Dude WTF. He said I am going to make it….do what u love and u will love what u do!

I asked Jimmy via test if he is planning a move. His response back is “It has to be a package deal, They got to bring in Cherp to get me”. Bill Cherpack (TJ’s coach) and Jimmy graduated together. Of course he was joking. But the next text was “Hmmmmmm, we may be hanging out a dukes (bar on 8th ave, all SV guys)more often”….so he is not showing his cards!

He texted me this afternoon “Knuclehead, out with Geep grabing a bite to eat, you have any quetsions about the quaterback play? Is Adam Walker available….lol” (Adam Walker graduated in 86 and was a running back at Pitt and a d back at San Fran

Geep is the QB coach at San Fran and Chrysts brother….now jimmy may be just jacking me off….but who knows? No body is saying ANYTHING!

I made the calls to my insiders and they all say “I have no clue”

Jimmy would turn into the best recruiter at Pitt

Comment by Big Black 12.30.11 @ 10:25 pm

Dukes is a cool bar.

Comment by MelbaPlace 12.30.11 @ 10:55 pm

Big Black, I don’t know if Jimmy’s gonna be a good coach but you made me like him.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.30.11 @ 11:08 pm

Huxtable? There are only so many D coordinator positions that come down the pike, but he has burned one bridge as far as I am concerned. Goodbye and who gives a crap.

As far as keeping our present D coordinator, well it ain’t going to happen. No one will ever trust him–never, ever. If he wants to be trusted, he must take a job away from Graham. His friend used him to put the coffee grinds. His Dad died a few weeks ago. So did mine. You don’t really become a man until your Dad dies. Then it is time to become the man you want to be. I can’t see how he could follow Graham’s path and look in the mirror. I wish him luck. I miss my Dad.
Jerry O looking for a college job where he makes the same commute?

Comment by SFPitt 12.30.11 @ 11:09 pm

By the way, Tossing Thabeet is right. Who really cares about Lilly white Penn State? F ’em. They got what they deserve. Raping kids for God’s sake. Is there anything lower? Yes, is the answer. Knowing about it and sitting by and doing nothing.

Comment by SFPitt 12.30.11 @ 11:14 pm

PITT does not need ANY more controversy at ALL.
So forget about Tom Bradley. Temple didn’t even want him BEFORE Sandusky.

The guy from N. Carolina, Ken Browning would be a great get to recruit the South. UNC in the last 18 years has had some great defenses, produced a lot of NFL players. Don’t know if Chyrst knows him, but I would reach out. Even if you don’t offer him DC, he might come as some other coach or maybe recruiting coordinator.

Plus this guy Browning has schemed against ALL the ACC teams and knows their schemes. Seems logical enough to have a guy on your staff that knows the ACC and it’s teams, like a book


Comment by Emel 12.31.11 @ 1:37 am


I think in Bradley’s case “before Sandusky” has to go back as far as 1998, certainly back as far as 2002.

He has been on the PSU staff since 1977 and has held the integral position of DC since 2000.

Even I remember reading about the rumors of Sandusky’ predilections for young boys back in 1998 when the DA didn’t press charges. Sandusky has been the worst kept secret in college football for decades.

That’s why I was somewhat taken aback by the shock that everyone felt when the grand jury report came out – I assumed that everyone already kind of knew that Sandusky’s actions would come to light. What did shock me was the cover-up and the subsquent charges of perjury by PSU administration.

The reason I’m going back over this is that it is virtually impossible for Tom Bradley not to have know what transpired between Sandusky and the PSU administration when 1) Sandusky was told he’ll “never get the HC job” and 2) when PSU started banning Sandusky from bringing young boys onto the campus.

Honest to God, college coaches are a very small and tight knit community and I can say without a doubt in my mind that this is the reason no school – not one – would touch him with a ten foot pole overs the past decade when he’s been begging someone to give him a job.And there was a good reason not to – because everyone knows that nothing takes place in PSU football without the staff knowing about it – especially someone as ingrained and Tom Bradley.

Which elicited this from Barry Switzer:

“Having been in this profession a long time and knowing how close coaching staffs are, I knew that this was a secret that was kept secret. Everyone on that had to have known, the ones that had been around a long time,” Switzer said in an interview with The Oklahoman newspaper.

Switzer added that others outside the Penn State program had to have known as well.

“You think that a 13-year assistant … hasn’t told someone else? His wife? His father? People knew. The community knew,” Switzer said.

Read more: link to

PITT will not hire Bradley for this reason alone and as someone stated above, there is a damn good chance Bradley will be on the hot-seat come January 2012 when the trails start.

Comment by Reed 12.31.11 @ 6:55 am

EMel, ^^^^ That is a long way of saying I agree with you.

Comment by Reed 12.31.11 @ 6:59 am

Reed, What Barry Switzer says is true. Everyone on that staff probably knew. Remember Joe Paterno’s quote in the 1980s, “I’m not going to leave college football to the Jackie Sherrills and Barry Switzers of the world.” Funny how often the things you say, come back to haunt you. Joe PA demeaned the character of two other coaches assuming a position of moral superiority. The ancient Greeks believed that “hubris” excessive pride was a flaw that would lead to a tragic result. As Switzer said, “There are no winners here.”

Comment by Justinian 12.31.11 @ 8:04 am

If you think about it, a recruiting issue, pales by comparrison to the things that went on at Penn State. I’m not a Barry Switzer fan, but he was within his rights to speak out on the matter. With all the people involved, no one stepped up to do the right thing.

Comment by Justinian 12.31.11 @ 8:12 am

Thanks for reaffirming my point guys. F Penn State!

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.31.11 @ 8:22 am

As we well know, Pitt has its own issues … we should find out within the next few days who will make up much of the new coaching staff, who, in turn, should hit the ground running in the pursuit of recruits.

Personally, I have no issue with either Tomsula, Orlando or Patterson … I just want people who want to be here. Tomsula and Orlando are Pgh natives, and Paterson has been here for a year.

Comment by wbb 12.31.11 @ 9:22 am

wbb, I like all three as well. I doubt Patterson gets a shot but I’d like to give him a chance to prove himself away from Fraud Graham. At least we have options…the dust should be settling soon.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.31.11 @ 9:39 am

Wbb Tossing Thabeets this is just my thoughts but
i just dont see tomsula comeing here hope i am wrong.
and i think if it was orlando it would have leaked out bye now.
i dont think he has a DC he never thought Huxtable would say no.
just my thoughts
i am going to go out on branch here i dont think there will be a lot of names of coachs on jan 3 i think maybe one more than we know abought i think he is haveing a hard time geting his staff.
i think that becuse more names have not leaked and this is not the CIA and we should be hearing names just my thoughts.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.31.11 @ 10:11 am

frankcan, you may be right, but after his first two apparent hires in bostad and smith, I think he’ll find a good dc. I’m really hoping it’s tomsula. I know I’ve said this before but reed seems to be convinced that he is coming. idk what I think about Orlando yet. fius defenses weren’t exactly impressive so idk how good of a choice he’d be. if I could pick the dc out of the names mentioned here itd be a toss up between tomsula or growing

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 10:23 am


Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 10:24 am

FRANKCAN, I think Chas had a valid point as to why more info hasn’t leaked…Everything is taking place so far away from the Burgh. I’m willing to bet that everything is settled by the open recruiting period in a few days. There are a lot of guys that could come in and do a good job and I’m not too worried about it. I personally hope it’s one of the three that wbb mentioned or Shannon or Ron Zook.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.31.11 @ 10:26 am

I feel some of leaks are not available because of the holiday. Look at Zeise, its already rumored that he got hit by a reindeer!

but really its the holiday season and some people are not in their office or need a vacaction that has been planned with their families.

The holidays season is not normal times and lets not forget that Chryst has to keep the integrity of other individuals in place. He cannot name people that are still coaching in games. This would disrupt the entire team. Lets wait and see after the bowl(Rose) game.

Comment by QuipScript 12.31.11 @ 10:27 am

it seems that Ron zook would be unlikely as dc, but why not? after an awful hc stint at Illinois, are there gonna be any big schools willing to hire him as a hc? I doubt it. I think that if he was offered a decent chunk of cash he’d definitely come to pitt. btw, does anyone know how much Chryst is being paid? it must be a considerable amount because it appears he putting a really good staff together

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 10:47 am

plus he’s good friends with Stevie P so I’m sure some deal could be worked out with him

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 10:54 am

pk browning would coach rb or DL he is not a DC
Tossing Thabeets was zook a DC or OC before he was a HC. and i dont bye that it is to far for the leaks to get to the BURGH news travels at the click of a phone.
Quip SCRIPT that was very good made me laugh
i dont think are new HC would name them but outhers would leak the names it is just the way things happen.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.31.11 @ 10:59 am


Zook was DC at Florida before he was HC there – I think.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 12.31.11 @ 11:35 am

We need to have a strong DC to complement PC’s offensive abliities. We also need to hire some coaches with recruiting ability and soon.

Comment by Houston Panther 12.31.11 @ 11:38 am

Dustin Garrison, the Mountaineer”s leading running back is out of their bowl game vs. Clemson due to a leg injury. What many bloggers haven’t realized yet is that je was in the same starting backfield(as TB) as Pitt’s frosh Q.B. Anderson. They won the Florida 5 Star Championship together. Presumably, Pitt’s Anderson is still in the mix for the Panthers. By the way, does the stealthy departure of Todd Graham not indicate that perhaps he was mishandling Sunseri? Whatever, I hope that the Q.B. position is wide open for the Steel City Eleven in 2012/ Rev. George in Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 12.31.11 @ 12:21 pm

I’ve just realized that with khem birches departure from Pitt, that opens up a roster spot for Pitt next year. Jamie Dixon needs to be blazing through the recruiting trail right now. he needs to find a pure scoring gaurd for next years class who can make somewhat of an immediate impact. if he did that, he will have fixed some of Pitts problems this year for the future: a pure scorer and a world class center who is elite in every facet of the position.

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 12:54 pm

Bowling Green panther thank you.
Houston panther i am with you i think the same thing.
I know that i am going to catch hell for this from REED AND CHAS but some times i think Zeise is as useful as tits on a bull.
he will have a big story on the new coachs after the press release.
but i want info before we can read the press release are selves bye then. i know he took time off but he takes time off at the wrong times if you cover PITT thake time off after the letter of intent day say on feb 7 or 8 i want my pitt info.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.31.11 @ 1:02 pm

pk pitt has allready signed a top 10 point gaurd
and the number 4 rated center in the USA for next year

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.31.11 @ 1:08 pm

I’ll take Tomsula, Orlando or Shannon

Comment by Tony C 12.31.11 @ 1:40 pm

frankcan, I know that but if you research James Robinson you’ll find that he’s a game manager, not a pure scorer. Pitt needs that too and I’ve acknowledged Adams but with the open roster spot Dixon needs to get a guard who can fill up the stat sheet.

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 1:43 pm

We’re probably better off without Huxtable as our defensive coordinator. I used watch the Cosby Show and other than some very colorful sweaters, I don’t think he would bring a lot to the program. However a case could be made for the mutually beneficial girl.

Comment by Justinian 12.31.11 @ 1:56 pm

PK, the issue of the additional scholarship was brought up in the past and there are a lot of good prospects out there in next year’s class. Believe me they are well of the options. I don’t think they were particularily thrilled when Khem Birch re-classified and they had to pull a scholarship offer from another player that they had comming in.

Comment by Justinian 12.31.11 @ 2:06 pm

I think Shannon, Orlando and Patterson look good but I would consider others.

Comment by Houston Panther 12.31.11 @ 2:12 pm

What about Vic Koenning the interim head coach of Illinois? He was DC the past two years. This year Illinois was #7 in Total Defense. He was DC at Clemson and K-State before that.

Comment by Houston Panther 12.31.11 @ 2:22 pm

Justinian, it seems the best prospects left on the table for Pitt in the 2012 class are jakarr Sampson 4 star sf/pf and Anthony Bennett 5 star pf. fo you know of any others that I may be over looking?

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 3:11 pm

Houston panther, he’s going to north Carolina with fedora

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 3:37 pm

FRANK – that’s a opinion that is valid I guess.

But the reality is that Zeise knows there is no story until Chryst is hired and releases the names of his assistants.

To do otherwise would be the same thing all the PITT fans are doing – circulating rumors and speculating on facts. Don’t you think we have had enough of that with both Haywood and Graham.

Personally I like the fact that Chryst isn’t pressured into doing something right away. I know you get upset about losing a player or two because of the Rose Bowl delay. However, I’m way more concerned about him being as comfortable as he can as our new HC.

Comment by Reed 12.31.11 @ 4:07 pm

I would like to wish a very Happy New Year to Chas, Reed, and all of you fellow Pitt bloggers.
We are not always long on patience or tolerance for each other’s viewpoints, but our passion for the University of Pittsburgh never wanes.

Let’s have a great 2012 sports year! We are due!

Comment by Dan 72 12.31.11 @ 4:11 pm

I don’t see Anthony Bennett coming to Pitt. He is close with Birch and he hammered Pitt fans for trashing Birch

Comment by Tony C 12.31.11 @ 5:02 pm

Tony c, I didn’t know that thanks. well, who could blame Pitt fans for being pissed with birch? he was the highest recruit to commit to Pitt ever and he quit after 10 games because he was playing the 5 instead of the 4 and wasn’t mentally or physically ready as was proven was zanna said that he would tear up if he got fouled hard in practice. not to mention the rumors that mizzou was tampering with him. Pitt fans have every right to trash him.

Comment by pk 12.31.11 @ 5:42 pm

Anyone reach out to the Mutually Beneficial chick?

Comment by Pitt Is IT 12.31.11 @ 6:01 pm

Happy New Year Everyone!! and thanks to Chas and Reed for making this a great blog for us to keep up to date with Pitt happenings.

My Pitt New Year Resolutions:
1. Football – watch our new coach assemble a quality staff VERY SOON and hit the recruiting trail to keep our existing commits and secure some other top surprises (You know he wants some big OL talent and some TEs!). Let’s support the coaches and the players who have been through a ton of BS in the past year – hopefully, it’s clear sailing from here.

2. Basketball – My wish is for another fun Big East Season and making the tourney. Dixon will find a way to get the most out of this team. Losing the freshman nut case was unexpected and is hurting us, but he will get these guys to over-achieve. Realistically – we need to get these guys some great experience this year (many young players getting substantial minutes) and next year will only get better with Adams as a beast down low (please don’t jump to the NBA instead!).

Comment by dish 12.31.11 @ 6:40 pm

PK, thanks for the info. That’s too bad. His defense looks nice vs UCLA.

Comment by Houston Panther 12.31.11 @ 6:41 pm

Ok, I scanned the old posts, and I might be missing it, but Jimmy who?

Comment by Stfan 12.31.11 @ 6:46 pm

SF Pitt, we hate Graham for bailing for money, or whatever, but you have no respect for Huxtable for saying he is happy where he is and wants to stay? I am gonna go out on a limb here, and say that football at Wisconsin is probably a little bigger deal than football at Pitt. Even in their bad years what is their average attendance? After all, what else is there to do there?
Give the man some credit for loyalty to his program, players and HC, even if it involved some financial incentive.

Comment by Stfan 12.31.11 @ 6:57 pm

Happy New Year y’all ! Let’s hope that all Pitt teams have a super 2012. HTP!

Comment by MariettaMike 12.31.11 @ 7:35 pm

Stfan…I don’t know Huxtable or why he stayed at Wisky…hell maybe he likes it for reasons other than the ones you suggest. My point is that to paraphrase General Grant when his staff worried themselves silly over R E Lee…”quit worrying about people who don’t want to join us and start thinking about those who do”. It is high time Pitt start exhibiting a little self respect. Act and talk like a stepping stone job and you will be one. Quit worrying about what others think of you and set the bar high and go do it. BFD Huxtable does not want to come here. Forget about him and set your sights higher. It isn’t about my respect or lack of it fir Huxtable, it is my desire to see Pitt get over this inferiority complex and develop some self respect.

Comment by SFPitt 12.31.11 @ 9:28 pm

PK, I think they could have used the power forward that they pulled the scholarship from. But I spoke generally, I honestly don’t who else is out there that’s not committed that they may have a shot at getting.

Comment by Justinian 12.31.11 @ 10:47 pm

It’s just another “what if” to Pitt’s legacy of “what if’s”. What if Birch did surprise the heck out of Pitt and did not reclassify. Jaylen Bond would be here this year and we might get a more physically and mentally mature Birch next year.

Of course, maybe Birch would not have even come here if he had another year of handler advice.

And, at least according to Dokish, Bond was leaning towards not coming to Pitt/Dixon was having 2nd thoughts about him before Birch reclassified. Something about Bond and his handlers were convinced he should play 2 guard and go quickly to the NBA while Dixon saw him more as a 4 and with the skill set of a 4 or maybe a 3.

But we will never know.

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.01.12 @ 2:05 am

I’ve seen videos of jaylen bond and he was a physically imposing player. he definitely would’ve helped this year simply because of that. physicality is something Pitt hasn’t had this year. oh well, Jamie Dixon will just have to make up for it in the class of 2012. I’m excited to see who he can sway in Pitts favor.

Comment by pk 01.01.12 @ 9:15 am

What would have helped is JJ Richardson not transferring out. Birch really F’d Dixon on this one. Not only did he lose a recruit (Bond), burn a redshirt (Gilbert) he also lost our back up Center and PF in JJ.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.01.12 @ 3:01 pm

tossing, I agree. I was just thinking of Richardson and Dwight miller yesterday. either one would’ve helped. i still stand by my notion that for 2012 Pitt needs a pure scoring sg or sf or maybe another center because I don’t see Adams being at Pitt for too.

Comment by pk 01.01.12 @ 4:59 pm

too long

Comment by pk 01.01.12 @ 5:00 pm

[…] week, Wisconsin linebackers coach Dave Huxtable publicly declined the offer to go with Paul Chryst and be the defensive coordinator at Pitt. This on the heels of TE […]

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