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February 16, 2017

It’s stale news, but still worth hitting.

Coming back to work for a third Pitt head coach, Charlie Partridge takes over as Defensive Line Coach.

Charlie Partridge, a renowned Florida recruiter who previously served as a Pitt assistant from 2003-07, will return to the Panthers’ staff as defensive line coach, Pat Narduzzi announced.

Partridge rejoins Pitt after serving the past three seasons as head coach at Florida Atlantic University. Prior to FAU, he was an accomplished assistant at Arkansas and Wisconsin.

“I’ve been a big fan of Charlie’s work for a very long time,” Narduzzi said. “I remember watching his defensive lines at Wisconsin and really admiring how they played. Charlie’s players reflected his high energy and passion. He’s an incredibly bright coach who is an excellent teacher and knows how to develop players.”

The opening sentence of Pitt’s press release sums up the hiring.

It’s all about his ability as a recruiter. Partridge not only recruits very well in Florida, he has a good eye for evaluating/finding the talent.

[Walt] Harris, who hired Partridge as a 29-year-old assistant, responded to the news of Pitt’s new hire by proclaiming, “Great job, Pat.”

“He was a good football coach (at Pitt),” Harris said, “and he’s going to be better after what he’s been through.

“He’s a very honest and straight-forward type person who players respond to.”

Partridge grew up in Plantation, Fla., and was an All-American defensive end at Drake in Des Moines, Iowa. He has experience recruiting Florida, and Harris said Partridge lured some of the best players of his tenure to Pitt, including Floridians Torrie Cox, Antonio Bryant, Clint Sessions and H.B. Blades.

Florida is a target state in recruiting for Narduzzi, who signed seven high school players from there this year. Partridge said he knows a few personally after trying to recruit them to FAU.

Partridge’s relationships with Florida high school coaches have deepened through the years, he said.

“I have had the conversations when the offer did come, and I was upfront when the offer was not going to come,” he said. “I did my best to be transparent and worked hard to maintain trust with the coaches down here. That carries weight.”

That isn’t to say Partridge is a bad D-line coach. He is very good at the coaching side of things. There is an excellent history of players he has developed at Pitt and at his other stops. But, this mutual move was made because of what he does on the recruiting trail.

“When it became public that the job was open, I expressed my interest to the staff and, really, a lot about coaching staffs, to be honest with you, is fit – making sure that you fit within the staff,” Partridge said.

“I think that, over the last 10 years if you take the time since I’ve been in Pittsburgh, I’ve had the opportunity to grow in different roles, and I just think that the experiences that I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of can bring a lot of things to the table that help Pittsburgh.”

As noted, when news of Sims’ dismissal became known less then two weeks ago, Partridge was the obvious reason. There was little reason for Sims to be out other then because Pitt and Narduzzi saw an opportunity to strengthen recruiting.

This is also why I couldn’t find much reason to complain of “disloyalty” from Matt Canada for going for the OC job at LSU. In addition to the huge pay raise, and higher profile. College coaching is hardly a stable profession. And loyalty runs both ways.

Sims was a Pitt alum. He was by any account doing a good job. But he is from Detroit. His recruiting ties are primarily in the midwest. The opportunity to hire Partridge — and potentially upgrade Pitt football further — was too good for Narduzzi to take a pass.

Building the foundation.

Comment by alcofan 02.16.17 @ 8:31 am

My kingdom for a Narduzzi-like program builder at the Pete.

Comment by Wally 02.16.17 @ 9:05 am

Saw one theory on another web site that Sims leaving may only be temporary to grab Partridge and when the NCAA additional asst. Coach on staff takes place Sims will return. Who Knows? another theory is that Partridge with his experience may have a bigger part in the overall defense. We’ll see. Good move no matter what.H2P

Comment by Pitt60 02.16.17 @ 9:39 am

Pitt60 – Interesting thoughts. Understood that’s just speculation, and time will tell, etc., but an interesting scoop nonetheless, all seems logical too. Exactly the type of info. I like to get from sites like this. Thank you.

Comment by 1618mt 02.16.17 @ 10:20 am

While it’s always hard to see good Assistant Coaches leave the family…………. It’s GREAT to see that Pitt is able to bring in quality replacements !!

Comment by Mtoolmn 02.16.17 @ 10:59 am

Our final and new 10th coach addition will be Charlize Theron. First time in Pitt history that no one will disagree with the hire.

Comment by rayhpgh 02.16.17 @ 11:16 am

even UPittBB?

Comment by wbb 02.16.17 @ 12:15 pm

UPittBB will only like the Theron hire if he gets a personal interview…. Sims coming back is an interesting theory. Certainly didn’t seem like any negative remarks from either side at the time. Partridge may only be with us for a short time if he gets another head coaching or coordinator job offer (Unless it’s Pitt DC). Great hire while it lasts.

Comment by AnotherClancyrebound 02.16.17 @ 12:25 pm

This isn’t a coach in waiting situation for Conklin as some are speculating on other boards. I could see associate HC in the future but not DC under Narduzzi.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.16.17 @ 1:43 pm

I’m not suggesting Conklin has to worry. I just don’t see Partridge remaining a DL coach for very long anywhere.

Comment by AnotherClancyrebound 02.16.17 @ 2:25 pm

Any former Head Coach is always a possible candidate for promotion to Coordinator.

Partridge’s hire would seem to put Conklin on notice.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.16.17 @ 2:40 pm

Still, something seems amiss regarding all of the explanations given for Sims departure.

Despite ranking 96 in Total Defense for 2016… Pitt’s Rushing Defense… the abysmal Bowl Performance not withstanding… ranked an IMPRESSIVE 9th in the Nation at 108 yards per Game.

Normally, this is an area that would be giving a lot of the Blame or Credit to the Defensive Line Coach.

In this case, Sims obviously deserved the latter.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.16.17 @ 2:48 pm

I know, I know… the Passing Defense was so porous that Opponents didn’t have to Run.

Opponents ran on Pitt less than 35 times a Game.

Not out of the norm when compared to other Rush Defense Leaders.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.16.17 @ 2:55 pm

Clancy – yeah – that’s why I could see him promoted to assistant HC or associate HC with DL responsibilities included. Narduzzi is a system HC and Partidge has no experience running this D.

It’s why some are speculating Simms could still return as DL coach and Partidge getting the bump up at that time. The NCAA hasn’t approved the extra assistant coach position yet so a coach had to leave to make a spot for Partidge.

link to

With the new title, you can justify the higher salary. All speculation though but that’s why the speculation exists.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.16.17 @ 3:00 pm

It is good to talk FB. We all have had our fill of the other. Bring on Spring Practice.

Comment by JP 02.16.17 @ 3:37 pm

6 Panthers invited to the combine, 5 from the offense and Price from the D.

Comment by Grizzly1 02.16.17 @ 4:16 pm

link to

Charlie Partridge interview w/ Zeise on the Fan…

Comment by NickC 02.16.17 @ 5:57 pm

NC State and Debbie Yow has more balls than anyone at Pitt.

Today Mark Gottfried was fired after his team gave up last nite in their beatdown by the Tarholes.

Pitt has never fired anyone I can remember during the season.

Oh…they did fire a Pitt man who had given Pitt football it’s best 3 year run in over 30 years, I guess during the season, before the Bowl game of 2010.

Anybody else, nope…crickets. Players can quit, teams can quit, teams can set records(both University and Conference records) for losing by outrageous amounts of points and nothing happens.

Comment by Emel 02.16.17 @ 6:33 pm

link to

Gottfried, 53, is owed about $2.5 million as a buyout for the remainder of his contract. The sixth-year coach had a 122-82 record at N.C. State and led the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in each of his first four seasons but the bottom has fallen out on the program the last two years.

The Wolfpack has lost five ACC games by at least 20 points this season, including a 51-point “disaster,” as Gottfried called it, 107-56 at UNC on Jan. 8. Wednesday’s game was closer but not enough to save Gottfried’s job.

Sounds very similar to another program that is at the bottom of the ACC

Comment by Emel 02.16.17 @ 6:41 pm

Emel – a little easier to fire someone with only a $2.5M buyout. Debbie Yow is one of the least respected AD’s out there. Gottfried was fired in season because of the media circus around the program. They announced it now to spare the team the rest of the season. It’s also the reason he’s still finishing out the year.

Who deserved to be fired in season? I can’t think of a coach this century I would have said that about.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.16.17 @ 7:39 pm

In that we’re talking about Athletic Directors isn’t there a AD job still open at Pitt? Yes, I had almost forgotten that minor detail hasn’t yet been resolved.

Comment by Justinian 02.16.17 @ 9:32 pm

AD hires can take months.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.16.17 @ 11:36 pm

Revis Arrested In South Side dispute 2:45AM, Thurs
Sounds like there’s a lot more to this incident than what USA TODAY posted 45m ago.

link to

Arrested for aggravated assault, conspiracy, terroristic threats, and robbery on the south side… For what?

Comment by Neil 02.16.17 @ 11:40 pm

Why do famous sports stars go to that criminal hell-hole the South Side anyway?

Comment by Jackagain 02.17.17 @ 5:56 pm

Why does anyone go to that criminal hell
hole of the south side.Nothing good happens there. People fight, get beat up and some times just disapear down there. Oh for the good old days of the fifties when the Pittsburgh cops wore black leather jackets,carried big nightsticks and made their own decisions weather you were out of line and yes there were more cops out there and yes most people respected the law. Yes times were good then.Including an on campus stadium that we could fill for at least a third of the games and cram full for Oaklahoma or Notre Dame.The students walked to the games in droves.

Comment by Pitt60 02.18.17 @ 7:40 pm

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