Former Central Michigan University defensive backs coach Archie Collins was added to the Pitt coaching staff by head coach Pat Narduzzi on Wednesday afternoon. Collins is Narduzzi’s 10th assistant, and his specific responsibilities have yet to be determined.
In addition to his role as the Chippewas’ defensive backs coach, Collins was also promoted to defensive passing game coordinator and held that position for his final season in Mount Pleasant. He has ties to the current Pitt staff through Michigan State, where he played as a safety in the 1990s and later served as a graduate assistant under Narduzzi from 2010 to 2012.
”I’m incredibly honored to join Pat Narduzzi and his staff at the University of Pittsburgh,” Collins said in a statement. “I’m very familiar with Coach Narduzzi, the way he teaches and his goals for our players. We will play with toughness, effort and knowledge to win championships. I’m thrilled to get right to work.”
Collins joined the Central Michigan staff in 2013, and during his five-year tenure working with the Chippewas secondary, the team ranked among the nation’s top 25 pass defenses three times, coming in at 20th in 2013, 24th in 2015 and 20th again in 2017. Pitt, for comparison, made the top 25 once in that span, ranking 25th in 2014. But the Panthers ranked 127th out of 128 teams in 2016 and only improved to 106th last season.
”Archie is a fantastic coach and highly driven recruiter,” Narduzzi said. “We wanted our 10th assistant coach appointment to be an impactful hire, and we achieved that by bringing Archie to Pitt. I first met him when he was a high school coach in Detroit and later I had him as a graduate assistant. Archie went on to do really exceptional work at Central Michigan, and he’ll be a great asset for our entire program. I’m thrilled to welcome him and his family to Pitt.”
Collins brings 15 years of coaching experience with him to Pitt, as he got his start in the profession at Cass Tech in the Detroit Public School League in 2003. He spent seven years at the helm of Detroit high school teams, during which 28 of his players earned all-city honors and nine were named all-state athletes.
While it’s currently unclear what Collins’ exact duties will be at Pitt, it seems likely he’ll play a significant role in recruiting based on Narduzzi’s comments and the fact that he was named Mid-American Conference Recruiter of the Year by Scout.com in 2015.