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Pat Narduzzi to Pitt: The Michigan State defensive coordinator passes up smaller jobs to land P5 opportunity

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Pat Narduzzi to Pitt is all but official, as JD mentioned earlier today, and according to Pat Forde, he passed up another opportunity at a smaller school.

Last year, Narduzzi reportedly turned down the UConn job. This year, it seems he passed on Colorado State in order to work out a deal with Pitt.

It's not at all surprising that Narduzzi passed on Colorado State for Pitt, obviously, as the Pitt job is the higher profile one of the two. I'd be interested in knowing the specifics, though. For example, did he pass on that job knowing he had the Pitt one (which clearly would be less risky if his goal was to make the jump to head coach this year) or did he only turn it down when being offered by Pitt? Was he even formally offered the job at Colorado State?

Forde's tweet seems to indicate that he was and the accompanying article mentions that he was the leading candidate there as well. Passing up the Colorado State job with Pitt coming in with an offer was probably a much easier decision than the one he made last year regarding UConn. It would have also been interesting to see if he would have taken the Colorado State gig if he hadn't been offered by Pitt.

Mark Dantonio spoke about Narduzzi earlier in the year and said his goal was a P5 opportunity:

"Pat wants to be a head football coach at the BCS (now Power 5 conference) level, and I think he wants to do that at one of the major conferences,'' Dantonio said in July. "But it's got to be the right situation. And right now, from the standpoint of his salary, it's gonna have to be a BCS job.

In any event, Narduzzi made it pretty clear that a BCS job was his goal. Unlike other coordinators, who often have to start at a school not in a Power 5 conference, Narduzzi was able to land a big job without prior head coaching experience.

Part of the reason he was able to do that is because he was handsomely paid as an assistant, making just over $900K at Michigan State to be the highest-paid assistant in the B1G. Still, it's clear that he was holding out for a big time job.

There's a reason why many Power 5 schools seek candidates with head coaching experience. Taking any coordinator, no matter how respected he may be, is a gamble for a school in a major conference. Pitt, of course, took a similar gamble with Paul Chryst with only 'meh' results, and this is their second such hire in a row.

We'll see if this one is any different.

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