There's not been a ton of information out there regarding the formulation of Pat Narduzzi's coaching staff for Pitt football. But per KDKA's Richie Walsh, the new Pitt coach has his first few assistants.
Dave Andrews will reportedly be the Panthers' Strength and Conditioning Coach while Andre Powell will be the Special Teams Coach. If they go through, there are already a few good reasons to like each of these moves.
Andrews comes to Pitt from Notre Dame and has several years of experience in strength and conditioning. That's a far cry from Ross Kolodziej, who held the position under Paul Chryst and was hired without any real experience, save for an offseason as a strength and conditioning intern at Wisconsin. Now, for the record, I never got on board with killing the Kolodziej move as a lot of fans did. Kolodziej, later earned a lot of praise from players, so I don't know that there's much credit in beating the guy up simply because he didn't have experience.
That said, it's always great to bring in a guy that not only has the experience you want to see, but at major institutions. Andrews was the Assistant Director of S&C at Notre Dame and for a couple of years before that, served as the Associate Director of S&C at Illinois. In the four years before that, he directed strength and conditioning for all except one of Cincinnati's sports, and also worked in the strength and conditioning department for four additional years. And like Kolodziej, he has a year of experience as an intern (Ohio State, where he played).
As was the case with the Kolodziej hire, I'm not going to critique this move too much. S&C is so far down the list of what we see from the outside (not from the standpoint of importance, but the standpoint of what we actually know) that speculating too much on the hire is just plain silly. There are so few people who know if this is a good hire or not and it's one of those things that is a wait and see type of deal for me.
What we do know is that Andrews has significantly more experience than his predecessor and has worked at major programs. Those are real positives in my mind.
Then there's Powell.
Having a full-time special teams guy, if nothing else, is an accomplishment in itself. Paul Chryst initially did not have one and only added one later when special teams for the Panthers was an absolute mess. Even then, they didn't have a true special teams lead. was a graduate assistant working with special teams under Chryst, brought in during 2013 after serving as a quality control special teams guy at Tennessee for one year. Again, a guy with not much experience and he wasn't even fully in charge of the unit, anyway.
Like Andrews, Powell also brings a lot of experience to the table. He's been a special teams guru and has nine years of experience coordinating special teams with North Carolina, Clemson, and most recently, Maryland. He's got more than 20 years of experience as a position coach, overseeing mostly running backs and special teams. In addition to the three programs mentioned above, he's had stops at Virginia, Army, VMI, Rhode Island, and was a Graduate Assistant with South Carolina and Indiana.
Testudo Times, SB Nation's Maryland blog, also says that the Terps' special teams improved drastically with his hire.
One more thing to like? His recruiting experience. His bio at Maryland says his primary areas for recruiting have been northwest Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. The Ohio thing is intriguing as is Maryland and Virginia since Pitt is now in the ACC. You can look at that bio link and see that many of his units have performed very well.
These positions aren't as important as the coordinator positions, obviously, but on the surface, there's lots to like with these hires.
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