Fine, I’ll indulge in this. If for no other reason than to provide a post that is actually on the topic. Damn, the fact that Pitt basketball is off until Saturday!
No puffs of smoke from the South Side indicating that any hirings have been made for the DC position.
There are names drifting about, but it is also clear that no one is really sure how serious either side is in the gig. Pitt and Coach Chryst really have a handle on leaks. Government agencies could learn a few things from this.
Keep in mind, these are just rumored names. Don’t treat them as facts. Try not to freak out on the speculation too much. Please?
Here are the names:
Now, I’m going to dismiss Tomsula out of hand. The San Francisco 49ers D-line coach may be a native to the Western PA area, but all information on the guy says he is fast-tracking for bigger jobs. Plus, we went down that road before last year. So, let’s not worry about that one.
As for Greg Jackson. Well, he has the Wisconsin ties:
Jackson join San Francisco after having spent eight years coaching in the collegiate ranks. In 2010, he was the nickel back/assistant linebackers coach for a University of Wisconsin team that finished the year ranked seventh in the nation with an 11-2 record.
Jackson is a Miami native and played college ball at LSU. From a recruiting perspective that would be a positive.
The problem is Jackson is the Assistant Secondary Coach for the 49ers. His resume is way too thin for him to be under real consideration for the DC position.
Prior to joining the Badgers, Jackson coached at Tulane University, serving as the linebackers/kickoff team coach (2009), the safeties/kickoff team coach (2008) and the defensive backs coach (2007). Jackson spent three seasons as the defensive backs coach at Louisiana-Monroe (2004-06), where he coached All-Sun Belt Conference defensive back Chris Harris, who led the country with seven interceptions, in 2004. He also spent one year as the defensive backs coach for the University of Idaho (2003).
That is not the experience that will get you installed as the DC of any major conference football program. If, however, Matt House was going to be promoted from within, then Jackson to become the secondary coach would make a lot more sense.
/cue screams of blind rage from certain commenters
Mike Archer has been reportedly interviewed. Archer actually has DC experience. He was the DC at NC State from 2006-2012 under Notorious TOB. Archer found himself out of work after O’Brien was fired in favor of Dave Doeren — who before running NIU worked with Chryst at Wisconsin and hired Huxtable away from Pitt. So the circle would close.
Archer may — or may not — have had some flirtation with Pitt for the DC job last year.
He told Panther Digest on Monday that Pitt is a job he wouldn’t mind being considered for.
“Number one, I know the area,” Archer said. “Another thing, Pitt is coming into the ACC. I feel that’s an advantage for me, because I’ve coached in the league for the last five years. I know all about western Pennsylvania, and I know you can be successful if you recruit western Pennsylvania with eastern Ohio. I can still go into Miami. Florida is still big with Pitt.”
Archer is a native of State College, Pa., and went on to star as a defensive back at the University of Miami, where he graduated in 1976. He started his coaching career the second he graduated. He started off as a graduate assistant for the Hurricanes, then became a full-time assistant in 1978, spending six seasons, where he coached the defensive backs. That familiarity with western Pennsylvania was crucial then, as the Hurricanes were able to recruit quarterback Jim Kelly out of East Brady.
Archer then went to LSU, where he spent seven seasons with the Tigers, including a four-year stint as head coach from 1987-90. He was only 34 when he took over as head coach of the Tigers, and guided them to a 27-18-1 record over the four-year span.
Archer also spent 6 years with the Steelers as the linebackers coach (1996-2002).
He at least brings being an alumni and at least some DC experience.
That’s where things probably stand at the moment.