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December 20, 2013

And no, this has nothing to do with Fraud Graham.

Pitt has shed it’s strength and conditioning coach.

Strength and conditioning coach Todd Rice has resigned from his position, a Pitt spokesman confirmed tonight. Rice spent the last two years as Pitt’s head strength and conditioning coach, and previously held the same title at N.C. State, Boston College and Cal.

Pitt did not provide a reason for the resignation, and said that it will hire a full-time replacement some time after Jan. 1.

Most of the reviews I heard from current and former players about Rice were not necessarily glowing, and Pitt dealt with a spate of back injuries (usually, though not always, indicative of a conditioning issue) along the offensive line. Left guard Cory King and left tackle Adam Bisnowaty both missed multiple games with back injuries this season.

Not glowing reviews. That may be putting it mildly considering the first source that put out word that Rice was out.

This guy:


Rice was a hire that was shaky from the beginning. His biggest qualification seemed to be that Paul Chryst could trace a family connection to him.

Now since the hire is not going to be announced until after January 1, let the speculation begin.

The first is a familiar one for Pitt fans: Buddy Morris. Morris served as Pitt’s S&C coach from 1980-89, 1997-2001 and 2007-2010. He also worked at the University of Buffalo and with the Cleveland Browns. Morris is currently working as a personal trainer in Buffalo, N.Y., so it would just be a matter of convincing him to move back to Pittsburgh if that’s the direction Chryst wants to go.

The other guy is current Arkansas strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert. Herbert is a 2002 Wisconsin grad who served on the Badgers’ staff when Chryst was the offensive coordinator there. He was an assistant S&C coach from 2003-2009, and the head S&C coach from 2009-2012, at which point he followed coach Bret Bielema and took the same job at Arkansas. Hertbert is also a Pittsburgh native and a West Allegheny grad…

Is Herbert ready for a pay cut? Because let’s face it, Arkansas can easily match and raise the money.

I’m not against Buddy Morris for his — I don’t know — 5th, 6th, 90th go round at Pitt. God knows the players all love him.

But let’s face it. The announcement isn’t coming until after the bowl game. So we all know who it will be…

Matt House will be the new S&C Coach. Book it.

I could never get into the plump ones but I knew a guy who adored fat women. He was tall thin and generally better than average looking. These fat girls would have done anything for this man. If he could have had that kind of control over hot girls he would be a legend. I have never seen women so mesmerized by a man. Almost made me wish I could stomach the big girls. One mans toilet is another mans throne.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.13 @ 2:53 pm

This from the Trib:

So what’s the problem?

The two best guys in Western Pennsylvania,” Farrell said, “are Dravon Henry and (Thomas Jefferson linebacker) Chase Winovich.”

Both are from pipeline programs. Neither picked Pitt.

That’s not just bad for perception but also reality. Pitt must own its backyard every year.

Read more: link to

I forgot about Winovich. Isn’t the Thomas Jefferson HC, a Pitt man. Cherpak or something.

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 2:55 pm

According to the recruiting sites PITT has now lost 8 of the Top 10 recruits in Western Pa.

No matter how you cut the cake, that sux.

For us to get better we needed to get at least half of them. Year in and year out.

Sheesh even Wanny (who most of you thought was a dunce) knew that.

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:00 pm

Ok now on to a less depressing subject (at least until March)….basketball.

Game starts in an hour.

Will our boys rebound against ‘rent-a-win’ Cal Polygram or is it Poly. I have quite a few records with Polygram labels.

PITT is a 17.5 point favorite

Think we cover today !

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:07 pm

Gorman compares our program over the last 10 years. If all we did was what we always did we could expect the same results. I really don’t care where Chryst gets his players, all I care about is how they play. Granted your backyard ought to feed you but given how shitty we have been we are lucky to get any locals because they couldn’t help notice how bad we have sucked. If recruiting estimates were accurate Notre Dame wouldn’t have lost a game in the last 10 years.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.13 @ 3:10 pm

btw thx Frankie for the heads up !

As the article says; we certainly do need a dynamic closer for the Wisconsinites.

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:12 pm

@ emel, They have kept it closer against better.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.13 @ 3:12 pm

With the 2 major city newspapers not exactly in Pitt’s corner and of course the PG being a much bigger culprit than the Trib.

And a town full of Ped State & Wvcc alumni, with some of them being in the aforementioned media.

This is ALL MORE THE REASON, why it’s imperative to have a dynamic HC and have dynamic recruiters.

As ppl have noted, there is absolutely no ‘buzz’ surrounding Pitt football at all. An afterthought in our own city. And what little buzz there is, is negative or in ridicule.

Sad state of affairs, when the opportunity of a Lifetime was there for the picking.

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:20 pm

deepelemblues that is not what dokish was talking abought he knows abought down time and he would not post what he did if that was the time.
and last year a recruit did not know he even had a offer they forgot to tell him look it up. it was on line the kid him self posted it.
lucky he found out and he did go to pitt.

Comment by Frankcan 12.21.13 @ 3:23 pm

lol that was Zach Challingsworth Frankie.

Kid didn’t even know he was offered by us. too funny

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:26 pm

Talk about the ‘Keystone Cops’. Oy Vey

Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:27 pm

After a few years of getting close to $20 million per year, they better use some/MOST of that green, like they did with the basketball program, and invest in what is getting them thAT $20 mil per year.


Comment by Emel 12.21.13 @ 3:33 pm

EMel thank you i could not think of his name.
as you say oy vey

Comment by Frankcan 12.21.13 @ 3:47 pm

I think besides the culture at the head of Pitt athletic programs the other huge problem is the stadium. Pitt needs a stadium that seats 37,500 that the student body can stumble into. Young people want fun and nothing is more fun than getting loaded and screaming your head off with you classmates at a ballgame. In our heyday we only filled Pitt stadium for big games. A smaller stadium that puts the students right in the middle of the action like the Pete does would make for a powerful home field advantage. It would also get filled and make the whole program more attractive. I really think Pitt got duped into playing at Heinz Field. In order to build it they needed a tax increase so as to make it look like it wasn’t just to appease the Rooneys they stuck us in the mix. I can’t see a single advantage to Pitt to that stadium. If Pitt built a correctly sized stadium in Oakland it would pay for itself and make a big difference in the program.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.13 @ 3:49 pm

spirit what you say is true but it wont happen
if they wont spend to get top asst coachs
if they wont spend say 2 million more to make pitt a top football program more for recruiting etc.

they wont spring for a new home.

Comment by Frankcan 12.21.13 @ 3:56 pm

@DR. Tom.

1. My first quip way above, “I’ll stop whining when they start winning”, was a direct reply to someone who said “stop whining”.

It was a quip, a quick quip, and meant only as, I don’t like the blather, when one person tells another person what to do. Not a fan of that. And more to the point, it was meant as only as a funny.

2. If you took a pool of most people on here, I bet I wouldn’t fall into the category of a “whiner”. Maybe I would.

I was self-mocking myself, (I’m sure there is a proper word for what I did) for something that I believe is not even close to the truth.

Other than the past few weeks, where I’ve posted concern that we might get blown out by Bowling Green, and that


we are going to need to have better and better recruiting classes in the future,

I’ve done nothing but have HCPC’s and Dixon’s back for the last 5 years I’ve been on here.

I predicted Pitt would run the table after the Notre Dame game. Nice prediction, huh?

I’ve said I like Chryst getting big OL, sounds like his M.O..

I’ve told people that have called for Dixon’s firing they are out of their minds.

I’ve told people bitching about not getting a Nat Championship, that it took Boeheim and Calhoun well over 20 years to get theirs, Dixon hasn’t even been here 10.

I was so pro getting out of the Big East and getting into the Big Ten or ACC a couple years ago, people were getting sick of hearing me say it. And that was two years before their was even an inkling.

Then it happened and I haven’t said one little bad thing about the ACC, I’ve cheered the ACC on here continually, in both sports. All sports for that matter.

4. And finally, the crux of the matter. You questioned me, and I came on and said, I was wrong about my “winning” comment.

I thought the gist of it was pretty obvious to most . I stated I was talking about a “winning” program and that I meant a “winning” program. You know, where I used the word “technically”.

Then you decided to continue. So, I will.
I will stand by my use of “technically”.

If we have five years in a row, of 7-6, do you think the vast majority of Pitt fans and college football fans, will consider us a “winning” program?? I’ll give you the answer. No, we won’t be considered a winning program for going 7-6, hell, throw and 8-4 in there.

Winning programs are 9-3, 10-2, 11-1 consistently over the years to most people, teams that are in the top 25 every year, that’s what a “winning” program is.

You kept talking about the 7-6, when I clearly stated, that was not what I was talking about or meant.

Now, maybe I was caught in the crossfire of a rant that you wanted to get off your chest, and I presented the vehicle.

You used my name several times, so I take that as you’re talking about me. You called me out on the “winning” even after I said we’re talking about two different things.

Comment by Dan 12.21.13 @ 4:16 pm

Hell, I just looked over my 3 posts on here today to fellow blatherites, this banter not included.

The gist of them.

1. Let’s run Cal Poly out of the building

2. Happy Holidays to all

3. Pitt fans may not be large in numbers, but the ones we do have are as passionate as any others in the country.

Hey, if I’m a whiner, I’m a whiner, whatever.

Comment by Dan 12.21.13 @ 4:19 pm

I do apologize, for the type set, of above ramblings. I don’t know what keys I hit, I am sorry for the strain on anyones eyes who bothers to read it.

Comment by Dan 12.21.13 @ 4:21 pm

cat fight lets call these guys house wives of pitt blather

Comment by paul shannon 12.21.13 @ 4:28 pm

DR TOM just gets in a bad mood some times he has done it to me but he is really not mean just pissed at things like the rest of us.

Comment by Frankcan 12.21.13 @ 4:45 pm

Nice article that for me, as a koolaid drinker, puts things into perspective on PC right now.

link to

Henry: His mom is a headcase and there were issues around them going back to the summer. Bet you $ his mother is a Pain in the A#$ for whoever is coaching at WVU…

McKensie, has attitude issues and his comments at his announcement confirm it. The fact they recruited other RBs so hard shows they never we sold on his “intangibles”… and rightly so.

Nicolson??… hey he was just one of those kids that was going somewhere other than Pgh and someone said it right when they said track was important to him.

meanwhile we pick up blue chip OL and no one gives PC proper cred for that…

… and he is evening getting a few folks from Florida… that magical land of recruiting… and he gets no credit for that either.

For me the matter is can he keep improving as a coach, and improving his team along the way.

As long as each year builds on the last moving forward we are fine. Next year we have to win the games vs. Navy, G. Tech, etc. of the world… then we are an 8 win program… in a few years we get to 9-10 wins… that is as good as it will get… and if we do that consistently that is fine by me.

Comment by Pittscript 12.21.13 @ 4:54 pm

Tonight is the longest darkest night of the year. It can only get lighter. H2P

Comment by Frank MD 12.21.13 @ 6:46 pm

@ Dan,you hit the nail squarely on the head, “Now, maybe I was caught in the crossfire of a rant that you wanted to get off your chest, and I presented the vehicle”.

I can’t explain myself any better than I’ve already tried to above, so I’ll leave it at that and will just reiterate that I wasn’t picking on you or calling you out, just utilizing the vehicle. My apologies.

Moving forward on a positive note, who has a good suggestion for our next S&C coach, a plus would be a guy who is also a dynamic recruiter? And let’s start discussing how we prepare to defend against a potent BG offense led by a QB that has a chip on his shoulder, daring Pitt to flick off.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.21.13 @ 7:07 pm

I’m with you script – we get the two best lineman – loose Nicholson (as expected),don’t get the head case,and are ahead in regards to running back recruits, we have the #40 recruiting class, good potential..and people are freaking out. Unrealistic expectations.

Comment by markp 12.21.13 @ 7:09 pm


Good point in response to my post above, and I left that unspoken.

It’s one thing to target these guys. It’s another thing to be able to close and actually get them to sign their letter of intent.

The initial premise of my post was to point out where Pitt was looking for its players. The reason I wanted to look into it was to frame a response to the overall discussions I’ve seen here lately on recruiting. There has criticism that Chryst is focusing too much on a “Big Ten” type player and not enough on the speed/athletic types needed to compete in the ACC. I was curious to see if this was in fact the case, and found evidence that perhaps it wasn’t.

Either way, the bottom line is that Pitt still needs to close on these players. I think things are moving in the right direction with some of the recruiting, but not all of it. We’ll see.

Comment by Stoosh 12.21.13 @ 7:13 pm

I’m with both of you, markp & Pittscript, but we really do need to get either Kamara or Jennings in a Panther uniform, agreed? We sure could have used Nicholson also, hated missing on him.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.21.13 @ 7:29 pm

Wbb DR Tom buddy morris wont be back as are next
S&C coach when are wonderful AD smug steve fired wanny buddy told him he was Gutless and Egotistical
good for buddy but i dont think he will be back any time soon.

Comment by Frankcan 12.21.13 @ 7:55 pm

Maybe we can get HIS trainer to be the next S&C coach?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.21.13 @ 8:38 pm

PITT doesn’t need buddy but someone that emphasizes strength , power and speed. Walt brought his SC from OSU and he emphasized speed and PITT looked small. Wanny brought buddy and PITT looked big and strong but SLOW. Hopefully HCPC gets one that does both. Big, strong and fast.


BTW – Merry Christmas and its good to be back in the Burgh.

Comment by VAYinzer 12.21.13 @ 10:01 pm

just a thought this is just a guess brian bott
was well liked bye wisconsin players.
he quit after 13 years was the asst strength coach
he quit when new coach took over he is 39 years old
i have no info just a guess.
but he was there when chryst was there who knows.

Comment by Frankcan 12.21.13 @ 11:03 pm

I give PC a lot of credit here. He made a bad hire and took steps to correct it. Everyone is going to make mistakes, and no one should be held to a standard of perfection. So, this shows me the program is indeed heading the right way. Especially if the hire was due to connection, it shows me a lot that PC took almost immediate action.

Comment by PittMan 12.22.13 @ 12:57 pm


To Dr Tom

Will give you some unsolicited advise: many of us don’t read
your posts. Way too long. Brevity is important.

Comment by JR 12.22.13 @ 3:50 pm

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