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.