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New Football Coaching Hires Announced

With these hires, the football coaching staff is finally complete and hopefully this is the last time for a while that Pitt will have to find new coaches.

Brooks Bollinger will be the QB coach in what was another terribly kept secret. Bollinger was a QB at, where else, Wisconsin while Paul Chryst was there as a tight ends coach. He was a four-year starter under Barry Alvarez and went 30-12, including a win in the 2000 Rose Bowl. He's a moderate pickup for Chryst, having spent eight seasons playing professional football, including six in the NFL. But he spent the past season as a high school coach in Minnesota, no where near Pitt's primary recruiting areas, so it is a questionable hire from that perspective. I'm anxious to see though how his hire impacts the QB position, though, and how much this affects Tino and eventually Chad Voytik.

The running backs will be led by former Panther Desmond Robinson, who played under Johnny Majors and Jackie Sherrill in the mid-70s and was a member of Pitt's national championship squad in 1976. He played linebacker and defensive end for the Panthers. He has almost 30 years experience as a coach in various levels, having spent time in the NFL and at the college level with stops at West Virginia, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. He coached standout backs including West Virginia's Amos Zereoue, Notre Dame's Autry Denson (the Irish's leader in career rushing yards), and Syracuse's Damien Rhodes, who was one of the top rushers for the Orange. I'm really glad with this pickup and it can only improve Pitt's ability to churn out quality running backs into the NFL and make Ray Graham and Rushel Shell even better.

Finally, Chryst has hired Dann Kabala as player personnel director. Kabala, a Pittsburgh native, has spent the past four seasons at Arkansas, but has also spent three seasons at Pitt and a few seasons at Indiana. He will help Pitt's recruiting efforts in Western Pennsylvania. This will obviously be crucial with several top recruits coming out of this side of the state.