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Pitt Coaching Candidates: Panthers players pushing for Joe Rudolph

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

First off, if you're not yet following Richie Walsh on Twitter, you should be. He's been hands down the top source for Pitt's coaching search out there.

His latest piece of news says that Pitt players want Joe Rudolph as the team's next coach:

Players wanting continuity is nothing new and this type of stuff with players voicing their opinion to administration during coaching searches happens quite a bit. Walsh, FWIW, also says that Rudolph is expected to get an interview, but that Pat Narduzzi is the school's top target.

The Rudolph thing is intriguing and what the players have to say should be taken into account. That said, Chancellor Gallagher and the rest of the staff on the search committee obviously can't let them dictate what will happen here. The players may love Rudolph but will only be around for a few years (jokes about Pitt coaches not sticking around that long fully noted). Pitt has to look long-term here and ensure they get the best person, regardless of what the players may think.

What players were involved in the presentation aren't fully known, but you'd have to think that many of them would be offensive players working directly with Rudolph. That unit did some good things with one of the top running backs in the nation, James Conner, and 1,100-yard receiver Tyler Boyd.

The biggest allure to keeping Rudolph for the players would be that the same offensive system remains intact. In Rudolph, the players know that the offense isn't likely to change much, if at all.

The obvious parallel here is the basketball players voicing their opinion a while back after Ben Howland left Pitt to take the UCLA job. Players wanted assistant Jamie Dixon to take over, despite other high-profile names being tossed around.

That seemed to work out pretty well.

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