According to a few tweets by Pete Roussel, Pitt is in the mix for a few assistant coaches. Now that may come as a bit of a surprise, simply because only one job is currently vacant by the recent departure of Wide Receivers coach, Bobby Engram. A candidate that has been brought forward is current Montreal Alouettes coach, Erik Campbell. Pitt has also reportedly hired Troy Douglas from Iowa State to coach the defensive backs.
First things first - landing a replacement for Bobby Engram is top priority for Paul Chryst. Engram was known as a big recruiter, and developed strong relationships with current and future players. Pitt is looking to the North for a possible replacement. Erik Campbell is currently with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes. Campbell is a Michigan graduate who spend a large portion of his coaching career at his Alma Mater. Campbell coached notable players like Braylon Edwards, Steve Breaston, and Mario Manningham. Campbell also coached at Iowa for a five year stint before heading to Canada. Obviously with Campbell's Big Ten roots, his recruiting focus would help in the Midwest.
Adding a defensive coach is a welcomed addition. Pitt's defense took an unnecessary step back this past season under first year coordinator, Matt House. House could use some help, but another assistant now means a corresponding move because it sets Pitt over the limit, but I think they can probably be creative in how they handle that. Douglas leaves his post of coaching defensive backs under former Pitt defensive coordinator, Paul Rhodes at Iowa State. Douglas previously coached at North Carolina and South Florida among many other stops along the way. Douglas is a native of Florida, and his former stints with UNC and USF could help Pitt gain better access into recruiting pipelines into talent rich Southern states.
Douglas is official, but wide receiver is not a done deal yet. At this point, we are only talking rumors, but having names to fill the jobs is definitely exciting and a step out of the norm for Paul Chyrst. One of the head coach's biggest criticisms is waiting to make hires, and settling for under qualified candidates. Hiring Douglas is a welcomed sign, and answers a lot of problems this Pitt team faced last year. It shows Chryst is ready to upgrade his staff, and is taking notice of some glaring needs this program has. A wide receiver's position is still vacant, but it sounds like Pitt is moving at a more rapid pace than in year's past.