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Paul Chryst to Wisconsin: Should Pitt consider Joe Rudolph as head coaching candidate?

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, news broke on Pitt's coaching search in that the Panthers were targeting Greg Schiano as a possible candidate for their vacancy. One in-house candidate, though, probably deserves at least a look - offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph.

Rudolph may be on his way to Wisconsin with Paul Chryst but if Pitt decides to offer him their job, it's hard to believe he wouldn't be interested. Just about all coaches aspire to be head guys and to get a chance at a P5 program (albeit a mediocre one) is a big deal.

There are a few things to like about Rudolph.

For one thing, there's a familiarity aspect in that he's been here for a few years now under Chryst. Rudolph also provides the local ties that are heavily desired by a lot of fans, as he is a native of Belle Vernon.

More importantly, though, are his credentials as an offensive coordinator. Rudolph's offense at Pitt has really shown growth and this year, was a solid unit. Chryst had built an impressive offensive line and with James Conner and Tyler Boyd, Rudolph's offense overall did a good job this season.

In addition, he has been solely around major college football programs, serving as an assistant at Ohio State, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, before coming to Pitt. Rudolph knows what it's like to coach for big time programs and, even though head coaching would be new to him, I'm not sure he'd be out of his element.

Rudolph even has some brief NFL experience as a player and while he didn't have a long career, that certainly holds at least a little bit of weight.

The rush to criticize him will be there because he was a part of a very mediocre regime at Pitt coaching alongside Chryst. But Rudolph's primary focus was the offense and, as I said, that unit did pretty well.

We'll see who else emerges as a candidate, but Rudolph is, if nothing else, worthy of a look.

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