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Pitt, Pat Narduzzi agree to new seven-year contract

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NCAA Football: Villanova at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The University of Pittsburgh and head coach Pat Narduzzi have agreed to a contract extension that will secure his services through the 2024 season.

Pitt athletic director Heather Lyke officially announced the move in a press release Wednesday morning, issuing the following statement:

We're thrilled Pat Narduzzi is our head football coach. We are deeply committed to helping him, his staff and his student-athletes achieve at the highest levels in the ACC and nationally. Coach Narduzzi is a tireless worker, dynamic leader and passionate about building outstanding relationships with our student-athletes and everyone connected to our Pitt family. He and his staff are fully dedicated to building a national-caliber program the right way, on and off the field.

The move comes on the heels of a lackluster 5-7 season, but Narduzzi also led the team to back-to-back eight-win seasons in his first two years in Pittsburgh. At the time of his arrival, the Panthers had been dealing with constant turnover at the position since Dave Wannstedt’s departure in 2010. That also marked their last eight-win campaign.

In addition to leading Pitt to 21 wins in his first three years as head coach, which is the most in a coach’s first three years at the school since Jackie Sherrill recorded 28 from 1977 to 1979, Narduzzi has led the team to major upsets over Clemson and Miami in the past two seasons and also managed to knock off in-state rival Penn State in 2016.

In response to the news, Narduzzi expressed his gratitude to Lyke and Pitt’s leadership, reiterating that he expects “great things” to come:

I am tremendously blessed to work with such great leadership at the University of Pittsburgh in Athletic Director Heather Lyke and Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. When I initially accepted the head coaching position at Pitt three years ago this month, I said we could achieve great things if we were all moving in the same direction. Thanks to Chancellor Gallagher and Heather, we are all definitely moving in the same direction with a shared vision for excellence on the field, in the classroom and in the community. It is a tremendous honor to be the head football coach at Pitt. My family and I are extremely appreciative of the opportunity to be part of this great university and city.

Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports broke the news that a deal was underway on Tuesday night, noting that a raise and salary pool increase should be expected. With that said, the financial details of the new contract were not disclosed, but a raise would bump the coach up from his 2017 salary of $1.8 million, per USA Today, which is among the lowest in the ACC.

Provided Narduzzi sees out his entire contract, he would be the first head football coach since John Michelosen, who coached the Panthers from 1955 to 1965, to serve as Pitt’s head coach for a full decade.