The defensive coordinator position is open. Dave Huxtable has moved on to take the DC spot at NC State.
How do I feel about that? Eh. I can’t say it is a huge loss. It would have been nice to have full coaching staff continuity for two seasons, but it beats changing head coaches once more.
Some of the obvious names being bandied about are Charlie Partridge (serving presently as DC at Wisconsin, but also spent a few years as a Pitt assistant), Todd Orlando (former UConn and FIU DC), along with the usual Pitt guys names like Teryl Austin and Sal Sunseri. Tom Bradley’s name has been mentioned — with tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek.
(Seriously. Tom Bradley will not be the next DC. He remains unhireable as a college coach. His supporters and agent tried to float his name out there for the open Temple job and that sank quickly and quietly. No program is willing to take that chance. Please do not even try to make the case.)
As for Sal Sunseri, I doubt it. Some SEC team will probably pay him a lot of money to help with their recruiting while keeping his coaching duties to a minimum. His DC tenure at Tennessee was not pretty. Yes, there were injuries. Yes, there were issues with the talent. That said, 110th out of 120 among 1-A defenses. Not a good look.
Besides, there is a bit of Sunseri fatigue at the moment. Conspiracists would lose their minds if Sunseri got hired. And god forbid, the defense struggles under Sunseri. The blind rage that would ensue from some quarters… Best not to travel that path.
Partridge is a glaringly obvious choice. We know Chryst loves those personal connections. Plus Partridge is a Florida native, and Pitt does need someone to recruit down there. And with Pitt’s bowl being so late, both sides can probably wait on this. Partridge still doesn’t know if he’ll have a job at Wisconsin after they finally make a hire.