February 2, 2017

This Year’s OC is…

Filed under: Assistants,Coaches,Football,Hire/Fire — Chas @ 8:27 pm

…hello, Shawn Watson.

Shawn Watson, a 35-year coaching veteran who owns an extensive and accomplished record overseeing offenses on the collegiate level, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Pitt by Pat Narduzzi.

Watson previously served as offensive coordinator at Texas (2014-15), Louisville (2012-13), Nebraska (2007-10) and Colorado (2000-05). He also has head coaching experience on his résumé, serving in that capacity at his alma mater, Southern Illinois, from 1994-96.

Watson joins the Panthers from Indiana, where he spent the 2016 season as an offensive quality control assistant before being named the Hoosiers’ quarterback coach. His Pitt appointment serves as a reunion with Narduzzi. The pair previously worked together on the late Randy Walker’s staff at Miami (Ohio) from 1990-92.

“Shawn Watson was one of my first mentors in this business,” Narduzzi said. “He sat me down as a young coach and taught me how to work with wide receivers in my first full-time job at Miami in the early 1990s. Ever since that time, we have always talked about being able to reunite on the same staff again. I’m really thrilled that the time has finally arrived and he’ll be joining us at Pitt as our new offensive coordinator.

“Shawn is, first and foremost, a wonderful person and father,” Narduzzi added. “As a football coach, he is extremely knowledgeable, an excellent recruiter and will be a tremendous strength in the quarterback room and offensive staff room. I’m really looking forward to having Shawn and his wife Anita join us in Pittsburgh.”

I think most Pitt fans will concede that their first reaction to the name, was hardly, “Oh, hell yes!”

But it shouldn’t have been, “Oh, shit!” Either.

The latter would have been reasonable only if the name had been Scott Loeffler.

As expected, Head Coach Pat Narduzzi went with both an experienced OC and a guy that can coach QBs. That has been consistent.

Watson brings a solid if mixed resume to Pitt.

The obvious highlight is his time at Louisville with Teddy Bridgewater. Watson is a solid hand at handling and developing quarterbacks. He likes running the ball and is a proponent of (geez, it really is a sign I’m old; why I remember when this was the new-fangled thing…) a more traditional West Coast style offense using the short pass and running backs in the receiving game.

The obvious lowlight was the time in Texas. DO NOT ask Shawn Watson to implement a spread offense.

He isn’t a young, hot name in the offensive ranks, but Narduzzi was never going that direction.

Obviously Texas fans dislike him. Louisville fans have mixed feelings, as did Nebraska fans.

If you are basing your reactions on how the fans of former teams are reacting, you might be slightly panicked. It is also fair to point out that Illinois fans scoffed at Tim Salem being hired — after he was scapegoated as a bad recruiter. And NC State fans hardly shed a tear when Matt Canada was fired.

The toughest thing for Watson will be the inevitable comparisons to this past season’s offense. It’s not completely fair when you look at the returning experience at every position but  WR that Canada inherited, but…

At the same time he is harldy walking into an empty shell. A (likely) graduate transfer, former 5-star recruit at QB. More experience, size and depth at WR. Talent (albeit, kind of raw) but lots of depth at RB. A still rather stout O-line. If not ready made for success, there is a feeling that this is more sous vide cooking rather than requiring precise baking.

I’m not going to say that I ‘like’ the hire until I see the product on the field.

But I will say that I trust Narduzzi to do great things and if he trusts this guy, which given their past he does, then great.

Narduzzi has put great things together for a first time head coach, and we’ve seen the results.

Comment by Alex 02.02.17 @ 8:37 pm

I’m not sure the TX fiasco can be pinned on Watson. Yes, he called plays, but he didn’t have the title of offensive coordinator. Chas alluded to it. TX was running a spread offense but not Watson’s offense. He was just calling the plays. Kind of like what happened at Ohio State after Herman left. They had someone (Ed Warriner) calling Urban Meyer’s offense with another co-coordinator (Beck) who I think coached the QB’s.

When you have an OC calling someone else’s play book the offense can look inept at times. It’s not theirs. Watson gets a pass for me.

The rest is confusing to me. I can’t get a feel for him because I don’t think he’s ever had a chance to form an identity on offense. He’s had very controlling Head Coaches in Barnett at Colorado and Pellini at Nebraska. His days at Louisville look good … mostly. I just don’t know how much freedom Strong gave him.

As I mentioned in the last thread, my worst nightmare is a bad west coast offense. Nothing worse in sports. Even the good ones are earmarked by efficiency and not explosiveness. Canada was an exception and I’m not sure lightning can strike twice.

Who knows though … maybe the amount of freedom he’ll get under Narduzzi is just what he needs to form that missing identity as a play caller. Fingers crossed.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 8:52 pm

Sous vide? He’s steamed in a plastic bag?

Execs hire their friends that they trust and value their character. Thus Narduzzi hired Watson. Kills two birds… gets a QB coach to prep one QB for NFL another 2 for future stardom and run the offense. I hate W Coast OCs but trust implicitly in Coach Narduzzi’s judgement. In fact Narduzzi’s judgement is about all I have left in trust with all things Pitt!

Comment by Dan 72 02.02.17 @ 9:12 pm

Tossing, There is still a lot of offensive talent at Pitt. All Watson has to do is watch film of what these guys accomplished last season. There is a lot of stuff that Pitt ran exceptionally well that is worth keeping. Yes, I would expect any good coach to be able to recognize that. When Bob Huggins, a man to man coach, took the head basketball job at West Virginia, he incorporated Belein’s 1-3-1 into their repertory. He saw how good they were with it and how effective it was. Yes, Watson will undoubtedly bring his own philosophy and system. Hopefully he will keep some of the things the Panthers ran so well. I know Pat Narduzzi will give him the keys to the car. That’s what he did with Matt Canada. As a offensive coordinator that’s the freedom you want to have.

Comment by Justinian 02.02.17 @ 9:24 pm

I too will trust coach duzz

The good thing is he’s old enough that he just might stick around for a while!

Comment by Keith 02.02.17 @ 9:25 pm

I like this hire. He will be at Pitt as long as Narduzzi is there. I do believe he will be expected to use the same playbook as Canada, so no new offense for the players to learn. Now how and when the plays are called, we will all find out this fall.

Comment by HbgFrank 02.02.17 @ 9:26 pm

On paper seems like a good hire. His resume looks strong. And being older he may not bolt…in fact he may be groomed to be HCPN’s successor when ND finally comes calling…

Comment by Tommymac 02.02.17 @ 9:30 pm

Why are you referring to Max Browne as a likely grad transfer? Didn’t he already enroll at Pitt?

Likely starter, yes…

Comment by Tommymac 02.02.17 @ 9:37 pm

To go with a guy like this just has me scratch my head more over what would seem to be an obvious way to go… and a solid one, with no sizzle.

Promote Salem to OC… he deserves it and has been an OC.

Go get a good QB coach like Van Pelt… there’s some sizzle.

BTW, what is Watson’s reputation as a recruiter?

Comment by pittscript 02.02.17 @ 9:40 pm

Justinian – I’m, admittedly, very biased against the west coast offense and Watson has run the version of the offense I despise … conservative. Even good west coast offenses averaging 30/game can be very boring and deliberate. I’m hoping Watson takes advantage of the freedom he’ll have and we don’t get my worst nightmare. Canada ran a west coast offense with a college flair. It was a rarity.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 9:41 pm

Here is a very thorough article on Watson from Texas. Very informative.

link to

Comment by pittscript 02.02.17 @ 9:46 pm

Salem did himself no favors in the bowl game against Navy.

I think this is a good hire – we need the steak, not so much the sizzle. 😉

Comment by Tommymac 02.02.17 @ 9:47 pm

Ground Hog Day!

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 9:49 pm

Not to mention the fact that Phil saw his Shadow… not good.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 9:50 pm

Watson… who the heck knows. A LIFER who Charlie Strong fired.

The GOOD news is… he keeps getting hired.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 9:52 pm

And don’t look now. But Paul Chryst, the Pitt Coach who could NOT recruit… just signed the next Earl Campbell.

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 9:59 pm

TT @ 8:52pm – When you have an OC calling someone else’s play book the offense can look inept at times. It’s not theirs. Watson gets a pass for me.

Profound statement – I believe you we’re referring to Watson’s time at Texas.

Duzz has been quoted as saying his new OC will run the Canadian O.

Profound indeed…

Comment by Erie Express 02.02.17 @ 10:14 pm

So far believe this to be a Quality Hire

Yes – he is an older coach…but he is not the head coach and in football coordinators are often older coaches who have found their level.

Yes – he got fired at Texas…but overall resume looks good. He did well at Colorado. He coached a future stud NFL quarterback at Louisville.

He has P5 recruiting experiences so knows that game.

He has been a head coach so he can see things from that perspective.

Narduzzi trusts him.

He likes to run the ball, with the stable of studs Pitt has in way of running backs, think he could do well here.

He runs the west coast offense – so can potentially use QH’s speed on jetsweeps, run wideout screens and also be able to grind out the clock and the game in the 4th quarter with a cloud of dust running game when Pitt has a lead. – something we were not so good at last year.

Comment by Tommymac 02.02.17 @ 10:19 pm

So far, two years into his tenure, I trust Pat Narduzzi implicitly. As such, I believe this to be a good hire. #H2P

Comment by Will 02.02.17 @ 10:30 pm

Erie – Duzz said the same thing about Canada running Cheney’s offense. Then they came out vanilla before embarrassing PSU with the jet sweep. I wouldn’t hold too much stalk in what Duzz says. He likes to play games. I’m sure some elements will stay but I think we’ll see more power offense. Just a guess tho. You could be right. We won’t know until State College … I’m guessing the first game will reveal nothing …again.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 10:36 pm

BTW, I’m not hating the hire. I’m indifferent right now because I have no idea what to expect. Just, historically, this is not my favorite style of west coast offense that Watson has run. That doesn’t mean it won’t be good. I’ll just never be excited by it. It was part of my issue with Chryst. I just didn’t like his offensive philosophy. He’s a proven great OC tho. Just not my cup of tea. Duzz has my attention tho so I’m all in.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 10:40 pm

Not a fan of the West Coast Offense, especially at the College Level.

But, if Narduzzi and Watson stick with it… Ben DiNucci’s chances of becoming the next Pitt Starting Quarterback just got a MAJOR boost.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 10:42 pm

TT – I too like the smoke screens Duzz uses.

Comment by Erie Express 02.02.17 @ 10:42 pm

Tossing, I loved Matt Canada offense this past season. I didn’t like Chaney’s offense at all. Now, if you look at what NC State did when Canada was there, they had a good running game, but nothing like this year’s Pitt team. Pitt’s offensive success was a combination of things. They had a great offensive line, a terrific power running back, an electrifying guy on jet sweeps and a quarterback who could complete throws deep. What’s tough for the players is learning a completely new system. So hopefully Watson comes in, keeps what works and adds some of new wrinkles. The defense will be be better this year and I expect the receiving corps will be stronger as well. We have an experienced quarterback with a very good arm and we have the best quarterback depth in years.

Comment by Justinian 02.02.17 @ 10:42 pm

Everything you wanted or might NOT wanted to know about Shawn Watson.

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 10:47 pm

Did I mention Phil saw his shadow?

Comment by PittofDreams 02.02.17 @ 10:49 pm

Justinian – yeah – that’s what I was implying. Canada’s offense didn’t look like this at NCST. It was one of the first things Franklin said after the loss, beside whining about clapping. They didn’t run jet sweeps like that at NCST. Duzz gave him the freedom to run what he always wanted to run … to record breaking results. I’m hoping the same thing happens for Watson. The freedom made Cheney more conservative. It made Canada more aggressive. What happens to Watson? Based on what I’ve read, Watson’s head coaches dictated the style more than he did. I’m curious what his true offensive identity is. One thing we know is Duzz will let him find it.

PoD – the former #2 overall, 5 star QB, who was voted team captain at USC, and lost his job to a Peyton Manning-like prospect, will be the starter barring injury with McVittie backing him up.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.02.17 @ 10:59 pm

Applause applause. We finally have an OC.

And it’s not one of the Salem brothers or the RB coach. So it’s not a Cheesehead Paulie special.

Meanwhile not many have brought up Dixon lately.

So I wondered why. TCU has lost 4 of their last five games and are now just 15-7 and below .500 in the Big 12. Of the 15 wins, 8 are Jamie specials:

St. Thomas (an NAIA team)
Alabama State
Jacksonville State (not JU)
Illinois State
Arkansas State
Wofford (think Jamie paid them a couple times for wins at Pitt)
Texas Southern

And naturally those were all TCU home games.

So he’s 7-8 against legit teams.

Comment by EMel 02.02.17 @ 11:22 pm

Bradley sounds legit, but they stink 8-16.

3rd from bottom in Mo Valley conf.

Comment by EMel 02.02.17 @ 11:24 pm

This new OC has some big schools on his resume.

The big Question is: were any of those schools good and had good offenses in those years, he was OC.

Don’t have the time or inclination to do the research atm.

Comment by EMel 02.02.17 @ 11:27 pm

@Emel – Watson was the OC and QB coach at Louisville for Teddy Bridgewater’s sophomore, junior and senior years (2011, 2012, 2013). 10,000 yards, 72 TDs, 24 INTs, 29-9 record. For what that’s worth.

Comment by cnorwoodaz 02.03.17 @ 12:02 am

Good call. Same old song and dance with dixon.

Comment by Goalie44 02.03.17 @ 12:20 am

@EmelDixon Dixon’s team beat K State in their house last night. K State swept them last year and was 6 & 1 at home against TCU in the series.

Dixon has won more Big 12 games (4) than they did last year (3) and they have 9 games still to play.

TCU was 12 & 22 last year and are now 15-7.

Dixon is a good coach. There no way around that. If you look at our out of conference schedule well, We lost to a Duquesne team that has won only 9 games…..

Comment by Tony in Harrisburg 02.03.17 @ 12:25 am

Coach Duzz picked his guy and we can only guess why.

Maybe he can recruit.

Maybe he has experience with different systems at a high level.

Hopefully he can provide stability and not use Pitt as a spring board.

I see this as a sign that he is getting ready for a run of successful years.

Comment by scriptrules 02.03.17 @ 7:06 am

In fairness … Pitt fans will scoff at Kentucky for its recent DC hiring

Comment by wbb 02.03.17 @ 7:07 am

Tony – agreed. It was time for a change of scenery for both Dixon and Pitt but the attempts to discredit him as coach are comical sometimes.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.03.17 @ 7:28 am

Was in the car last night b/w 6-6:30 so was listening to the Kevin Stallings show on The Fan. Hilgrove let slip that some big man had made a verbal commit to Pitt. I missed part of it, but he apparently said more than he was supposed to because it’s too early? In any case, it’s a non-U.S. born big man, is what I heard him say.

Comment by Praise the Lard 02.03.17 @ 8:53 am

Bobby Mo to build an events center –

link to

Comment by Erie Express 02.03.17 @ 8:53 am

Why the incessant need by some to bad mouth the best coach in the history of Pitt bball??!! On a thread about the football team hiring a new OC no less.

Comment by Pitt89 02.03.17 @ 9:30 am

It wasn’t incessant. And it wasn’t a need.

And because this was the newest thread.

The best coach got as far as Buzz Ridl did in the NCAA’s. If all the wins against the Woffords and the Savannah States tickled you, more power to you.

But at least that team in 1974 lost to an historic team who won the National Championship.

And produced the best ABA-NBA pro player Pitt EVER produced.

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 10:20 am

What mixing football & bball comments goes beyond the pale. Wow. You went to Pitt eh ?

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 10:21 am

By the way Pitt didn’t play a collection of 12 rent-a-wins every year in the first 2 months of the season until the Dixon era.

Yes he did win lots of games.

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 10:24 am

I’ll answer the bell for the flaming bag of dogshit directed at Jamie Dixon.

Those four conference losses by TCU were to Baylor (home), OSU (Stillwater), Auburn (home) and Texas Tech (Lubbock). The losses were bookended by wins against Iowa State (home) and K-State (Manhattan). I would say the only “bad” loss in there is the Auburn loss. In terms of point differential the OSU loss was 13. TCU currently sits in 5th place in the Big 12 tied with K-State. TCU currently sits at 39 in RPI (the objective measure), 45 in BPI (another objective measure) and appears in Lunardi’s bracket as an 11 seed. TCU has had a total of 6 conference wins combined over the previous three seasons. They currently have 4 conferences wins.

Not sure why a Dixon bash suddenly appeared on an OC thread, but ding dong.

Here’s an idea, let’s let TCU and Pitt play it out then we can decide if we want to circle jerk at the end of the season with an entire body of work as basis. On the other hand Dixon is gone and isn’t coming back. Stallings is here and is thus far failing miserably and the only defense of him seems to be to blame Dixon for the hand Stallings was dealt (or willingly accepted).

Comment by Barvo 02.03.17 @ 10:36 am

Emel – the program declined the last 5 years (no sane person would argue otherwise) but prior to that, Dixon’s record against the top 10 and top 25 was as good as anyone in college basketball. Please stop with the rent a wins. He has more than enough real wins to crush that argument. Dixon was an early adopter of sports analytics and worked the RPI like a mathematician. It sucked for fans but it got Pitt respect with those that mattered … the NCAA selection committee.

The Dixon teams were not built for a one and done tourney like the NCAA’s. They didn’t have the elite athletes that shine at tourney time in a one game situation. No one doubts that was his achilles heel.

IMO, the decline was due to Pederson not giving Dixon a proper budget for keeping his assistants and it also affected recruiting. He never recovered from it. I feel that was more an impetus than the move to the ACC was. Although losing NYC was rough and the Jaylen Bond/Khem Birch fiasco killed Pitt in Philly.

Dixon was a fantastic coach for Pitt. He got Pitt to within a first team all american, and former number 1 prospect in the country, buzzer beater from potentially playing in the final 4.

Villanova and the three guard system they ran was just a bad matchup for Pitt. Villanova accounted for 2/5 of Pitt’s losses that season.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.03.17 @ 10:48 am

The only two times anybody pays attention to an OC is either when the team’s offense is doing very well or failing miserably. The former situation provokes concern he will leave, the latter that he’s staying. Pitt has experienced both the last two years and my guess is HCPN has grown weary of wasting time on HR duties that only detract from what he does best: coach football. He has been very consistent in saying he wants stability in the coaching ranks. Since he has been burned twice, he probably went the Stallings route and hired somebody in their career’s fourth quarter. He knew the guy personally which helps sometimes when building a team. No surprises on the character side. I just like the way coach does things so I tend to support his decisions. So far the arrow continues to point upward.

Comment by wally 02.03.17 @ 11:02 am

wally – It’s kind of why I’m indifferent on the OC. It’s Narduzzi’s team and the team will be what he wants it to be. I read a tweet from the Watson interview on the radio this AM and he said Narduzzi wants an attacking offense that scores. That’s enough for me. That’s all I want. None of this conservative bs and trying to keep the game close for the 4th quarter bs that we got with Wanny and Chryst. In CFB, you have to be aggressive on offense. Alabama learned why against Clemson in the championship game. Defense wins championships but you also need an offense to compliment it.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.03.17 @ 11:35 am

the last few years notwithstanding, Dixon was clearly the best BB coach Pitt ever had (or at least in the last 50 some years.) IMO, this is unarguable.

He also had a handful of chances to move to better paying opportunities, but declined.

However, it was obviously time for him to move on because (1) his recruiting had sharply declined and (2) he wasn’t reaching his players effectively. (combining both — it may be that his recent recruits are uncoachable)

Comment by wbb 02.03.17 @ 1:00 pm

Holy cow! Stallings just got a commit from a 6’10 center (he is without a doubt the best coach ever!)

link to

Comment by wbb 02.03.17 @ 1:09 pm

Yes. The recruiting over process has begun. I expect 1 to 2 more recruits this year, thereby bumping 1 as of now and maybe up to 2 more kids off the team. It has to happen for the KS era to have any success. Way to go KS.

Comment by rayhpgh 02.03.17 @ 1:38 pm

Don’t know about the skill part… but the Kid looks exceptionally ATHLETIC.

link to

Comment by PittofDreams 02.03.17 @ 1:39 pm

No one on this board was satisfied with what Dixon was giving us. Oh his TCU team this year may be a 11-12 seed. Everyone wants a final 4 appearance. You have to blame Dixon for the fiasco of this year. No center, no point guard and players who do not want to play defense. His recruits. Also a pg who cannot shoot and a big man who hustles but does not have ACC talent. All his recruits.

Now it does look like Stallings is bringing in a nice recruiting class much better than what Jamie did in his last few years. 2 4 stars and the other 3 star players and behold a 4 star pg and two centers. Most of you think he should be dumped after this year. I vote he stays and let’s see what he can do with his players.

Comment by JP 02.03.17 @ 1:45 pm

Pitt just landed a 6′ 10″ center from nigeria, by way of Montverde Fla academy.

Comment by alcofan 02.03.17 @ 2:20 pm

Tossing, AMEN! Yes, I want to continue to see an attacking offense. Yes I like seeing a strong running game, but without big plays it doesn’t put enough point on the board in today’s college game. The part that was special about the Pitt offense this past season, was it’s ability to make big plays. With teams trying to stop Pitt’s power running game, he gouged them with Henderson’s big gainers on jet sweeps. He managed to spread the field even before the Pitt passing developed.

Comment by Justinian 02.03.17 @ 2:33 pm

Alcofan, Yeah He seems to be recruiting pretty well.

Comment by Justinian 02.03.17 @ 2:35 pm

Dixon has taken a team that was horrible last year and made them a tourney contender (every brackets has TCU in right now) …Stallings has taken a tourney team to the basement of the ACC (and the basement of Pittsburgh college basketball when you figure Robert Morris beat the Dukies).

And yet people still want to give Dixon grief and say him leaving was a good thing.

The problem with Pitt sports isn’t the AD or Chancellor it’s the fans.

Comment by milobloom 02.03.17 @ 2:55 pm

Alco… You’ll find highlights from one of the Nigerian Center’s Games posted a few posts up.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.03.17 @ 2:58 pm

Reportedly, Stallings was told by an advisor to “Give Peace a chance!”

Comment by PittofDreams 02.03.17 @ 3:01 pm

We could still make the tourney.

Comment by Frank MD 02.03.17 @ 3:33 pm

KS has been quietly putting together a really good class. I’ve said this a few times now. All the kids have been shooting up the ranking and improved their rating since accepting Pitt offers. The rumors are he, and the staff, have much better ties to the 2018 class due to the recruiting cycle they were in at Vandy. The future looks bright as far as skill being added to the roster.

CBB is divided among those that can recruit and those that can coach. Very few can do both. KS has yet to show his coaching chops beyond some creative set plays. He has a rep for being an offensive savant, which may be true, but he’s had chemistry issues with this team. With kids that have been together so long, chemistry should not be an issue.

This team lost one kid from a team that went to the tourney last year. Had Dixon been here, Kithcart and Damon Wilson would have been playing the point and playing a lot more. It’s very hard to say what Dixon’s team would have looked like because KS went with Artis at the point. No chance Dixon does that.

Before the schedule came out, it looked like a borderline tourney bound team. When the schedule came out, it looked like a long shot tourney bound team. The losses have been worse than expected but the end result really hasn’t been.

The point is that this team is very hard to judge KS on. At the same time, I don’t think Dixon left this year’s team in as bad as shape as some of you do.

Next year is another story. Next year was always going to be the rebuild year. The first one in almost 20 years. Whether Dixon was here or not. That’s why I say if they don’t fire KS after the season (which is highly unlikely) then you have to give him a few years to get a roster together.

Justinian – that quote made my day and alleviated many of my concerns about a conservative offense being installed. That’s a relic of a era of CFB that has passed. You need an aggressive offense in this day and age.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.03.17 @ 3:37 pm

Josh Newkirk scored 27 pts in a win over PSU last night….and Pitt needs a point guard…why isn’t he still playing for Pitt?…I see similarities with Damon Wilson’s current situation

Comment by Jerry S. 02.03.17 @ 4:04 pm

Jerry – he had microfracture surgery which is very hit and miss for basketball players, especially someone who relies on speed. He’s had some good games but he’s been very inconsistent this year. Upgrade over what we have? Sure. Long term answer? No.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.03.17 @ 4:39 pm

Perhaps Newkirk knew he would not play much last year since James Robinson had point locked up and hardly ever missed a game…he wanted to play 2 more seasons at point to show his skills to the scouts?

Who knows and who cares…water under the bridge. Wilson should have been ready to take over…but KS decided to go with Artis, and the rest is history.

Comment by Tommymac 02.03.17 @ 4:51 pm

Milobloom- there’s only one problem with Pitt fans….there’s not enough of them!

Comment by Dan 72 02.03.17 @ 6:15 pm

In the article in below Shawn Watson says,

“I’m a football junkie. One of the teams I had already started looking at was Pitt,” Watson said. “I think it makes it really attractive because Pat and I have shared a lot of football over the years and I know that he wants an offense that scores and that’s explosive. He’s really been instrumental in Jim’s success and Matt’s success. … With how Matt developed that offense, you don’t make that kind of departure or spin it in that direction without the support of head man. It’s really attractive.”


Comment by Justinian 02.03.17 @ 6:53 pm

TCU is no lock for the tournament they are 15/7 with 10 games left looking like a 19/13 team but their SOS is very high.

@TT I think you are right on a total rebuild is coming but it is due to Dixon’s horrendous recruiting and I think Dixon got out in time.

Comment by WLAT 910 radio and the big beat! 02.03.17 @ 6:56 pm

TT, are you saying that it is highly unlikely that they “don’t” fire KS after this season?

Comment by HbgFrank 02.03.17 @ 7:29 pm

The Big 12 stinks TCU would be awful if they played in the ACC.

Comment by Steve h 02.03.17 @ 8:10 pm

Watson’ s QB at Nebraska set a bunch of records. At Colorado they won the Big 12. I think he could be a really good hire

Comment by Steve h 02.03.17 @ 8:12 pm

Jerry S – Josh Newkirk scored 27 pts in a win over PSU last night.

No he didn’t, he scored 21 against a shitty pedo st team and did it in triple overtime. Newkirk is a serviceable point guard at best.

As for the OC hire Watson, I trust the Nard dog period!

Comment by PTG 02.03.17 @ 8:39 pm

Hbg – unfortunately, yes. I doubt it. I, personally, would like a redo but the 6 year contract buyout will probably be too much.

In other news, I live down the road from Paul VI HS in Fairfax, VA and took the kids to see Pitt recruit, Aaron Thompson, and wow. Just wow. He has potential to be a really really good one.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.03.17 @ 10:15 pm

OK folks. Jd’s record was unmatched at PITT in the last 50 years. It has also been well established that he is a defensive minded coach. However, you do not have to go back to the Villanova game in 2009 to know that opposing teams could drive on PITT. The most recent game against NC saw Young beat at least twice on the inside. Rather than force him to the middle where Young may have had help. Dixon had these kids for 3 years. That is fundamental junior high basketball. Are they really uncoachable?

Comment by Joe Bro 02.03.17 @ 11:16 pm

The problem with Pitt sports isn’t the AD or Chancellor it’s the fans.

Comment by milobloom 02.03.17 @ 2:55 pm


Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:34 pm

Ok milo…so let me get this straight.

The fans are to blame for the 33 years of middling and inept Pitt football teams. And the laughing stock of the country during the:

Heyward>2weeks>Graham>48weeks>Chryst fiasco.

Not to mention the Fazio>Gottfried>Hackett>Majors2 Clusterf*ck.

Do you work for Pitt or some company that has a Pitt contract milo ?

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:38 pm

You have just lost whatever credibility you had on here son.

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:39 pm

Dixon sucked when it counted.

In the NCAA’s he had a losing record.

nothng else counts

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:41 pm

And the Pitt Board of Clusterf*cks suck too.

And those that support them and their ineptitude.

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:42 pm

I did tired of hearing how great dixon was.

We got to ONE freaking Elite 8 game.

in the 13 years Dixon was HC

and in that ONE Elite 8 game…. Dixon coached into a loss with 2 NBA players on the team.

For the $200 Million investment Pitt made in the Bball program.


Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:47 pm

^I get tired ^

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:49 pm

And the guy was more than willing to ‘bail’ on his own program…when he realized his zenith was reached.

Epic …cut and run.

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:50 pm

So enough with this eulogizing of a guy and bailed on his own program.

Comment by EMel 02.03.17 @ 11:51 pm

Yeah. Blame it all on the Fans. We suck.

We average 48K per game attendance at an off campus football stadium in a Pro Football/Pro Baseball/Pro hockey town and this is after having 5 head coaches in 6 years…one of the top average attendance figures in the land.

Even after 4 or 5 pretty mediocre mens basketball seasons 10,000 of us still pay upwards of a $1000 per seat to watch more crappy basketball…

And we still post incessantly on blogs because we care.

It is all the fans fault.



Comment by Tommymac 02.04.17 @ 1:51 am

My 2 cents … the core problem is the constant change in direction that the Pitt admin has for the football program. The secondary problem is fan support …. mostly due to being in an NFL city and Pitt having much less alums than the big boys

Comment by wbb 02.04.17 @ 7:37 am

My old friend, Sleepy, in trouble

link to


Comment by steve1 02.04.17 @ 7:48 am

link to

Maybe Stallings can recruit. Raw but athletic.

Comment by gc 02.04.17 @ 9:08 am

gc, I’m hopeful as well. But first I’d like to see evidence that he can dribble (wink)

Comment by steve1 02.04.17 @ 9:47 am

While I’m on a roll, among all the measures available on hoops I’m not aware of one for a given player’s raw speed, like the 100 yard dash for fb.

Why not one for a player’s speed dribbling up and down the court?

Comment by steve1 02.04.17 @ 9:56 am

“I want to be a teacher. I love impacting lives.” Shawn Watson, Pitt OC.

Just what we needed, another instructor.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.04.17 @ 9:57 am

Sadly, Emel, you are right when you said “NCAA’s…..Nothing else counts”. JD’S record in the tournament was, well, bad. That became his rep, and, arguably led to his downfall. I personally think that is the underlying reason his recruiting suffered as the NCAA’s is what the kids all talk about and is what ESPN and others highlight 24/7. Then Pitt goes to the ACC which meant the recruiting footprint changed; what was left of NYC died. Pitt found themselves in no man’s land. And so Jamie left. I personally think it was a shared decision facilitated by the TCU opening. But, whatever. He was a good man and a good coach while he was here and did Pitt proud. But, as you say, those pesky NCAA’s……..

Which brings me to the point I am trying to make:

Bo Schlembechler, of Michigan fame, predicted the current state of collegiate athletics many years ago when he lobbied AGAINST a national football playoff. He strongly believed that conference championships should be the goal. He worried that football would go down the same path basketball was heading with emphasis on ONE national champion versus multiple geographically regional basked conference championships. He feared this would lead to the ultimate disintegration of conference affliations themselves and collegiate athletics would become a moneygrabbing free for all which would favor a select few premier universities. Thus, in turn, would focus on the select group of outstanding athletes at the expense of the larger pool of recruits who were, indeed, at universities playing sports to pay for an education, not viewing the college experience as a prep course for the pros.

How prescient Bo was.

I understand we all have evolved to the point where March Madness is a part of our spring ritual now and, the only people who care about the Sun Bowl are loser alumni from a university somewhere who think heart transplants and a cure for cancer trump beating a reprobate like Rick Pitino in a game that ESPN markets as the next Ali-Fraiser.

But, at the end of the day what this has lead to is the woman’s tennis team in Morgantown, West Virginia getting on a plane to Lubbock, Texas to compete in their sport of choice instead of taking a bus to Oakland.

Jamie could promise you that you would compete year in and year out for the Big East championship. But in today’s times, that wasn’t good enough. And so he’s gone.

A sign of the times for sure. Most probably think it is the price you pay for progress. Old timers like me think the halcyon days of Bo vs Woody and Johnny finally giving Joe what he deserved was as good as it gets.

Comment by wally 02.04.17 @ 9:58 am

However, if he is SMART enough to use a Fullback on “1st and Goal”… I’m all in.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.04.17 @ 10:00 am

Great post Wally, and not because you agreed with me.

Whatever little amateurism, integrity and tradition that existed back then, has been totally tossed out the door in college sports 2 big money making sports.

I find myself watching very little of it anymore, even at a time when it seemingly on non-stop.

They are killing the Golden Goose. At least for me.

Comment by EMel 02.04.17 @ 12:04 pm

It that is indeed very sad and tragic to hear about Dante Taylor selling drugs to teens.

Part of the much larger and tragic story of America’s inner cities and how the Gov’t created them, and nurtured them into the crime ridden gang infested hellholes they have been for a couple decades or more.

I hope the young man is able to straighten out his life.

Comment by EMel 02.04.17 @ 12:08 pm

It that ? wtf

It is indeed very sad….

Comment by EMel 02.04.17 @ 12:10 pm

Grea Post Wally.

Wow struck a nerve when I blamed the fans for Pitt’s failure. I see Emel’s working on his post count again and doing very well.

Not arguing on any of the posts about how the higher ups at Pitt screw things up…mostly because they don’t want to pay the big bucks to keep coaches or hire top assistants.
But why would they pay big bucks when the fans don’t pay.

I don’t donate a lot to Pitt Athletics but do enough to keep 8 club seats for football and seats for hoops. They give you a ranking each year and I am surprised how high I rank….meaning there aren’t many donating…I am sure they have a few really big donors but not enough to compare with all the programs everyone on this board wants Pitt to be. (We needed Mark Cuban to finish at Pitt and he could of donated his millions).

I know it’s a chicken egg thing..those on this board will say put a winner on the field and I’ll pay…but maybe needs to be fans need to show real interest and start paying and then Pitt will do the same for athletics.

Comment by milobloom 02.04.17 @ 3:57 pm

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