January 2, 2012

WPIAL Connections, Check

Filed under: Assistants,Coaches,Football,Hire/Fire — Chas @ 10:16 pm

After an entertaining as hell Rose Bowl, Paul Chryst gets to take the reins at Pitt. Before that game even finished, news leaked of another coach being hire — unofficially of course.

It’s not going to be an earth-shattering, wow type of hire. Instead, it is a guy with long ties to both Chryst and to the local high school scene.

Chris Haering, who won a WPIAL football championship as Mt. Lebanon’s coach, is headed to the college level.

Haering resigned today to become an assistant coach at Pitt under new coach Paul Chryst. Haering was at Mt. Lebanon for 17 seasons and also coached Hampton for one season. He was a social studies teacher at Mt. Lebanon and won the WPIAL Class AAAA title in 2000.

Haering handed in his letter of resignation today and also met with Mt. Lebanon’s players (he didn’t pull a Todd Graham).

“You’ll have to talk to him, but if you’re asking my opinion, it’s just the right situation for him,” said Mt. Lebanon athletic director John Grogan. “I think he’s had a relationship with [Chryst] for a long time. The fact that he wouldn’t have to move his family I think also played a big role in this.”

Haering played for WVU in the late 80s. His time overlapped while Chryst was a Grad Assistant with the Hoopies.


Not that this is official, as Pitt did not confirm.

A Pitt official said he was unaware of any immediate additions to the Pitt football staff.

Haeirng’s position at WVU was as a linebacker. That is assumed to be the position he coaches for Pitt.

When Wannstedt was hired at Pitt, one of his key hires was to get Greg Gattuso to leave the head coaching position at Duquesne. It was a vital hire in connecting with the local high school coaches in the region. That is along the lines of what this hire is.

Reed, I hope you are right. PC wasn’t my first choice because of his reported lack of recruiting prowess. But otherwise seems to be a good hire. I am concerned about the pace with which he is putting the staff together. So far it hasn’t even been suggested that he is hiring any experienced recruiters. Confirmed a high school coach and a rumored pro coach. Where are the recruiters? I would like to see him hire an experienced DC since that isn’t his expertise.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.03.12 @ 5:44 pm

Pitt is it thanks maybe?

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 5:49 pm

Reed big bill showed me a link between chryst and tomsula so you might be right which is good becuse i dont want to see you have to kill the man

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 5:53 pm

givitarest pitt does not have a full staff at the bowl game so they can hire more than 3 plus they could have applied for a weaver just like ohio state did so that is no reason he should have at least 5 or 6 ready to go.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 5:59 pm

I’m in agreement with FRANKCAN and Houston Panther, PC should have had potential staff in mind BEFORE HE EVEN INTERVIEWED for the HC job.

Isn’t that part of the interview process? Questions get asked such as “who do you have in mind for critical positions like OC & DC, if you’re hired”? A HC candidate’s previous coaching experience and close contacts/associations are considered when picking the right HC for the job. You don’t come into that interview cold concerning staffing.

If you are ready to move into the position of the head football coach of a major university you’ve got to have put the time in previously sizing guys up for staff AND initiated informal contact with them to judge their interest in joining up when the time does come.

When the HC hire opportunity materializes then its just the matter of hammering out the specifics of who fits those assistant positions.

Chryst should have had a least his OC, DC, QB and O line coaches already lined up to sign contracts as of TODAY IMO.

I’m not getting any warm fuzzys from this guy yet. I hope I’m wrong worrying about his lack of urgency to fill out his staff, but he is awfully slow on the draw in this matter if you ask me.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.03.12 @ 6:07 pm

Didn’t hear if we have a waiver but not convinced he doesn’t have his people in place and is or has to wait for people to finish out the season like Tomsula. Keep in mind that it was the Mt Lebo AD that said he was resigning not Haering or Chryst. I am optimistic about PC and not worried as he will surround himself with quality coaches. Like Haering who by all reports( I live in Mt Lebo)including former players. If so he will be able to relate to the local kids and based on mutual respect of other WPIAL coaches that will be a huge asset.

Comment by giveitarest 01.03.12 @ 6:15 pm

Well said, Dr. Tom. Surely he must have had a staffing plan put together at the time of his interview.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.03.12 @ 6:26 pm

DR. TOM very well written i think you are 100 percent right that what i have been saying you just said it better. he should have had at least 5 or 6 ready to go out of a staff of 9

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 6:27 pm

giveitarest it does not make a difference if they are in a bowl game or not
check the sites dick rod wants his old DC from WVU wvu has not played yet but the offer has been made every one knows abought it
tenn whnts clemsons DC and they have made him a offer clemson has not played there bowl game yet so if they have or have not played means nothing
penn state has talked to new englands OC and they are still playing so all that means nothing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 6:58 pm

Assuming the coaches he will be interviewing/hiring are connected to major programs with some degree of success wouldn’t most of the candidate pool be involved in bowl game prep/logistics, etc. this time of year? I am no expert, but common sense tells me to give the guy a break. Barry warned us he was not going to win the press conference, so I guess it should be no surprise if he doesn’t win the assistant hiring process either. We are so fatigued with the soap opera that has become the Pitt HC, I think we are all just punchdrunk because we haven’t had a normal argument in over a year.

Comment by wally 01.03.12 @ 7:01 pm

What I am saying is just because we are not being told anything doesn’t mean he isn’t talking to or has already got his people in place. Making an offer and actually hiring/signing someone to a contract are not the same. Besides I hope PC isn’t doing anything remotely like DickRod. It seems more that PC may be just keeping things to himself which we may need to get used to. That is something i can live with if he is successful.

Comment by giveitarest 01.03.12 @ 7:08 pm

why is everyone do worried?! he wasn’t even officially the head coach until today and he, unofficially, has his offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach, and linebackers coach and with that link and reeds source it’s looking a lot like Jim tomsula will be joining the staff as well. you all need to relax he’s not even done with his first day and I am 100% positive that Chryst has been lighting up the phones of recruits and possible staff members non stop.

Comment by pk 01.03.12 @ 7:14 pm

Wally you are right things are not normal that is why we are worried abought recruting and if he had just been ready with say 4 coachs plus him self to day we could have backed off buthe is haveing a problem with geting a staff or as DR TOM says does not seam to have a sence of urgency which he should have.
if things were normal it would be different.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 7:16 pm

I don’t think someone in a public position like head coach can keep everything to himself. The recruits and prospects want to hear from our staff. They can’t until they have been hired.

Comment by Houston Panther 01.03.12 @ 7:16 pm

Dan….I can’t stop spring breaking…I mean pasties…I mean laughing.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.03.12 @ 7:20 pm

pk not really he has had days to line these people up you know that and if he waited untill to day to give it his first thought to day jan 3 who am i goin to hire he would be a fool . you know as dr tom says he should have known who when he went for the job. at least 4 should have been ready to sign to day and so far there are only 2

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 7:26 pm

Do you guys recall how Chryst was hired? He was hired within a week of our coach packing his bags and leaving in the middle of the night. How could he put a staff together on short notice while still fulfilling his coaching responsibilities? Plus, he wasn’t even the first choice…Alumni had to step in and take responsibility out of SP’s hands so he was an extra last minute decision. Pitt could have bought him out of his $250K bonus for coaching in the Rose Bowl but they decided not to. There wasn’t much a coaching staff could have done until this week. Regardless, not many decisions will be made this week. All he and his limited staff have to do is call potential recruits and tell them to hold off until the bigger recruiting window. That’s it. Pitt only has like 5 or 6 scholarships open anyways. RELAX people. Let’s give the guy a chance…and I say this as someone who wanted Cristobal.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.03.12 @ 7:28 pm

…plus the best freaking recruiting tool he had was to show off that Wisconsin offense on a national stage – which he did. If that doesn’t get a potential recruit who is a good fit excited nothing will. In regards to defense, the biggest hole is LB and they just happened to hire a former all american LB with ridiculous ties to the fertile WPIAL.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.03.12 @ 7:32 pm

The Mt. L athletic director said he has known for awhile now. I bet Chryst has a lot of guys line up that the public just doesn’t know yet.

Comment by Tony C 01.03.12 @ 7:33 pm

frankcan, we know he has 3 at least right now and if tomsula ends up being dc that 4 elite level coaches not including Chryst himself. right now, Chryst and the 3 coaches he has are like I said, lighting up the phones. again, YOU don’t know that he doesn’t have more coaches. notice how all of his hires have said it themselves, Chryst hasn’t said anything. he could have many coaches who just haunt said anything to the media yet. calm down

Comment by pk 01.03.12 @ 7:35 pm

exactly tony

Comment by pk 01.03.12 @ 7:36 pm

Unbelievable that there’s so much angst over who the assistant coaches will be. You won’t know if it’s a good choice until a year from now, when we know how the unit has performed.

Dunno, maybe it’s that the b-ball team is rocky that folks are so wired….

Comment by velvil 01.03.12 @ 7:43 pm

We are so fatigued with the soap opera that has become the Pitt HC, I think we are all just punchdrunk because we haven’t had a normal argument in over a year.

Comment by wally 01.03.12 @ 7:01 pm

Excellent analysis wally.
Let’s all just chill and give PC a little time.
This was after all, a day of mourning in Madison.
That’s two years in a row the Badgers lost a heartbreaker in the Rose Bowl. After a very tough loss, the day after is always very quiet and a time to reflect.

PC is ending one large part of his life, being a former QB for Wisky and longtime coach. It is natural to take a pause, before you begin another part of your life. Let’s all take a deep breath before jumping off of any of the hundreds of bridges in the Pittsburgh area. (being in the Carolinas that wasn’t on ‘My to do List’ anyway)
haha 🙂

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 7:45 pm

pk read ZEISE we may think he has 3 or 4 but rigt now zeise says he only has two for sure.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.03.12 @ 7:48 pm

Note that we know that (1) Bostad was hired due to a Wisonsin press release where is name was not even mentioned, (2) Smith was hired (I believe) based on a Montana blog, and (3) Haering was hired confirmed by the fact that he resigned from his high school.

It is highly likely that a few others are lined up, but as Reed has pointed out, no official announcements will be made to the appropriate time,.. and it could well be that since PC hasn’t been at Pitt since before Christmas, many of these guys have yet to see the Pitt facilities or have looked at a Pitt contract (let alone sign it.)

As I said before, Chryst promises to be very busy the next few days.. and I wouldn’t panic, at least yet.

Comment by wbb 01.03.12 @ 7:50 pm

Sal Sunseri coached a Super Bowl participant and is the Asst HC / LB Coach for the best defense in the NCAA .. he would be a great hire for a position coach

Comment by wbb 01.03.12 @ 8:11 am

Couldn’t let this one go by wbb. lol

Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t one Matt Cavenaugh coach a winning Super Bowl team and didn’t Wanny actually have a Super Bowl ring as well. And Wanny was an asst. coach for a NCAA champion as well I believe. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for reasons to hire one, Salvatore Sunseri.

I would think after we unload Sir Tino after next year, most Pitt fans will have had enough of Sunseri’s for the foreseeable future. Like maybe…….the next millenium. 🙂

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 7:53 pm

First 24 hr. of HC PC of Pitt…..

Tired after the game, but spent a hr. or so with the Wisky troops to say farewell (sorry, just my style..)

Had eats with the family, packed up our west coast attire and jumped a red-eye to Pgh….

Wife and kids had some homey stuff to do, so as it was breaking dawn over Wisc. I had the pilot drop to 10,000 ft., hooked up the wife and kids with some parachutes and pointed towards our neighborhood… Stood at the door while they jumped (just my style, ya know)

Got into Pgh at 7:00 and went and had pancakes and a couple toddies in Mt. Lebanon…

Met Steve P. at the door when he unlocked it at 9:30 (just my style, ya know)

Signed a bunch of stuff and called my “a” list of coaches and had a couple picts taken since I was now legally Pitt’s new HC..

About 11:00 started contacts with our recruits, told them not to say anything, and neither would I (just my style, ya know)

Promised Keith P. that I give him a fair shake at the DC position… but couldn’t find him… Oh! the team stealthily left for Birmingham…

By 2:45 was on a flight to Birmingham to talk to KP and the boys. Figured it would get more difficult later in the week, especially if I just blew them off (NOT my style, ya know).

Late dinner and toddies with KP and such, but not too late as I will reconfigure my “A” list, if KP or anyone else appears to be “the man”.

Figure it out overnight, make the offers in the morning… have to call the family to see if there were any broken bones or frost-bite (JUST MY STYLE, YA KNOW)

maybe we should take a deep breath here… with apologies to Rev. George, we want to crucify PC for not having a full staff on day 0.5, and then we’ll do the same if he just ignores the current guys still wearing a Pitt hat! Things come in there own time, NOT our time….

Comment by CompLit 01.03.12 @ 8:00 pm

The public will know a lot more by the end of the week before our ball game.

Comment by Tony C 01.03.12 @ 8:03 pm

Wife and kids had some homey stuff to do, so as it was breaking dawn over Wisc. I had the pilot drop to 10,000 ft., hooked up the wife and kids with some parachutes and pointed towards our neighborhood… Stood at the door while they jumped (just my style, ya know)

Very funny stuff CompLit

Only question did the chutes have Badger or Panther logos on them? lol

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 8:23 pm

On the hoops front,

#8 Uconn is laying an Egg in their BigEast game at Seton Hall. Hall up 66-47 4 minutes to go.

So we will have the Hall to deal with as well this year.

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 8:42 pm

@paul shannon

Were you previously known as ‘Tino’s Mom’.

Just askin

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 8:43 pm

oh jeez. cardiac hill has reports showing that Tom Bradley is a leader for the dc job at Pitt. I really, REALLY hope this isn’t true. I think we all know how big of a mistake that’d be. what’s even more shocking is that they had anpoll and two thirds of voters thought he should be given a shot at the job. frankly, that’s terrifying that people can be so stupid and ignorant.

Comment by pk 01.03.12 @ 9:02 pm

F Penn State

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.03.12 @ 9:04 pm

and we will see the run game emphasized again – and that should help Tino Sunseri because he will be able to use some of the play-action stuff to make some easier throws.

Paul Zeise today

Aaaaaa. The run game emphasized again? I do believe Zeiso that Ray Graham was either leading the nation in rushing or was 2nd when he got hurt.
So how was it de-emphasized?

And just as I predicted Zeiso is already talking up Sir Tino for next year. I did think he’d at least wait till Spring practice. Guess not.

And we’ve seen Sunseri in a pro-set offense. No great shakes there either. Again only adequate against the dregs of the league.

Maybe he spent the holiday in Birmingham with Roxy cooking him some lasagne and Sal plying him with some Anisette. Because he’s already talking Terrible Tino up.

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 9:06 pm

well, seize immediately dispelled the Bradley rumor dating that he was given an emphatic “it ain’t gonna happen” by “all the right people”. to me that’s comforting because, again, that would be a turrible move. just turrible.

Comment by pk 01.03.12 @ 9:12 pm

took ur mean pills again emole ,just sayin

Comment by paul shannon 01.03.12 @ 9:20 pm

@pk…saw that.

Zeiso didn’t have any info whatsoever about who some other possible candidates are. Basically a useless article. We get more info from FRANKCAN, than Zeiso. Maybe the PG should hire FRANK>

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 9:22 pm

@ emel, Im still hoping Jim tomsula is hired, but if patterson stays I’d be fine with that. he did a pretty good job this year and as we all know keeping staff from previous regimes helps ease into the change and keeps connections with recruits etc. I also think that Teryl Austin or the former Miami coach who’s name is escaping me at the moment should be considered also. idk I mean there are a ton of capable guys so as long as Pitt can get one if them i don’t care what their name is.

Comment by pk 01.03.12 @ 9:31 pm

Agree pk,

I’d be fine with Tomsula (because we always need at least one coach with a stache) or Patterson for the reasons you stated.

As well as Austin or Randy Shannon. Both of them are excellent recruiters as you know.

@paul ‘adventure time’ shannon.

Yes, I’m a real meanie. 🙂

Comment by Emel 01.03.12 @ 9:39 pm

Man, I know those rabbits disguised as RB’s for Oregon are fast, but the Wisky LB’s were terrible. All of them took the same read. It was 11 on 9 when the Ducks had the ball because all 3 Wisky LB’s acted as 1.
I don’t know their skill levels but based on the 2nd half performance (I’ll give them a pass for the 1st half), I am damn glad their LB coach ain’t coming here.
Sorry Mrs. Huxtable, but results do count and the LB corps did a nice impersonation of clay figures against the Ducks.

Comment by SFPitt 01.03.12 @ 9:40 pm

Bud fosters d looks pretty good in the first half of the sugar bowl. But, as long as its any of the ones mentioned except for Bradley, ill be ok with that.

Comment by usd121 01.03.12 @ 9:41 pm

i bet ur not, but aplayers mom ,sheesh, it makes me nosmo

Comment by paul shannon 01.03.12 @ 9:42 pm

F Penn State!

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.03.12 @ 9:52 pm

Not worried about the staff at this point. I think PC said in his press conference he’ll have a staff in place by Jan 6 or whenever the “dead period” ends for recruiting.

Zeise also is clueless and gets most of his info from these blogs. His “sources” are few and far between. He also probably drove himself to ‘Bama hence the radio silence until today. Or in a poker tourney at Rivers and he lost track of time.

Don’t journalists travel with the team? Like on the bus / charter plane to and from games? I know they do in pro sports (Potash with the Pens as an example but he is an employee of their tv partner) and that’s a good time for them to do some reporting and story generation. Colleges are probably different but if not Zeise is missing the boat on that one.

Comment by MelbaPlace 01.03.12 @ 9:56 pm

Melba. he is in bans it’s on his latest post

Comment by pk 01.04.12 @ 6:34 am

Melba – no they don’t, they pay thier own way to cover the Panthers.

FRANKCAN is a fountain of PITT knowledge and must stay awake all night digging up info… seriously.

SFPitt – Wisky ended up with not a bad showing on defense during the regular season:

Scoring Defense – 6th
Total Defense – 8th
Passing Defense – 22nd
Rushing defense – 46th

Those numbers will change a bit with the bowl game results – but Oregon burned everyone they played with thier offense.

I think it would be great if we can replicate that in 2012 whoever the DC is.

Comment by Reed 01.04.12 @ 9:27 am

Bob Smizik is a ass he should move to peen state and get the hell out of the burgh

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.04.12 @ 12:32 pm

@TX Panther…”nipple”, “g-string” “pasties”, that’s just Tossing Thabeets and myself goofing off on some of our typos. We said we must be looking at those “mutually beneficial” ad’s over on the right instead of concentrating on our point!! LOL

Comment by Dan 01.04.12 @ 2:25 pm

Hello there, just turned into alert to your weblog through Google,my site is

[…] confirmed, former Mt. Lebanon HS head coach Chris Haering, to handle the […]

Powered by WordPress ©

Site Meter