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Pat Narduzzi promotes Charlie Partridge, hires Cory Sanders and Paris Johnson

The moves finalize Pitt’s 2018 coaching staff

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

After a somewhat turbulent start to the offseason that saw some unexpected turnover on the Panthers coaching staff, Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi announced two hires and a promotion on Saturday, finalizing his staff for the 2018 season.

Most notably, Narduzzi hired Cory Sanders as his safeties coach, filling his 10th assistant spot. Sanders brings 11 years of coaching experience to Pitt and most recently served as Western Michigan’s defensive backs coach in 2017. Prior to that, he spent four years as the head coach of St. Joseph’s and two as the defensive coordinator at West Florida, both Division II programs.

”Cory Sanders really impressed us during the interview process,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “We will be adding a young, up-and-coming coach who has outstanding football knowledge and really excels at teaching the fundamentals. Cory is also a relentless recruiter with a great eye for evaluation. He is a great addition to our staff and now gives us two coaches — along with Archie Collins — who will focus on the secondary.”

In addition to Sanders, Narduzzi hired Paris Johnson as Pitt’s assistant director of player personnel. Johnson previously served under Narduzzi as a graduate assistant at Michigan State, eventually going on to work in the Spartans recruiting department in 2015 and 2016 before joining FCS program Savannah State as a safeties coach last year.

Defensive line coach Charlie Partridge was also promoted to assistant head coach after he recently interviewed with Alabama. Partridge has been vital to Pitt’s recruiting efforts in his home state of Florida, and Narduzzi described his impact on the program as “tremendous,” despite his brief tenure in Pittsburgh, which began in 2017.