The Nigerian Football Federation announced on Monday that Pitt women’s soccer coach Randy Waldrum had been hired as the head coach of the Nigerian women’s soccer team. What that meant for his role at Pitt was not immediately clear, but Waldrum later confirmed that he will remain at his post at Pitt in addition to coaching the Nigerian national team.
"Very excited to head up the [Nigerian women's national team] and look forward to working with this amazing team," Waldrum wrote in a message posted on Twitter. "Gives me a chance to reconnect with some of the players I know! Big thanks to Pitt for allowing me the flexibility to work with them!"
Prior to accepting the head coach position at Pitt in 2017, Waldrum was hired as the head coach and technical adviser of the Nigerian national team. However, he turned down the role with Nigeria in order to take the Pitt job.
This will be Waldrum’s second foray into coaching in international competition, as he previously coached Trinidad and Tobago’s national team from 2014 to 2016. That overlapped with his tenure as the head coach of the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League, so the multitasking that the dual roles entail will not be a new challenge for the coach when he starts with Nigeria.
In Nigeria, Waldrum will take the reins of an accomplished team, whose achievements were laid out by President Amaju Melvin Pinnick of the Nigerian Football Federation in the announcement of Waldrum’s hiring.
“The predominance of the Super Falcons on the African continent has never been in doubt, with nine titles out of 11 editions of the women AFCON competitions held so far," Pinnick said. "We envision a new Super Falcons squad competing favorably for laurels at the global level, and I believe the new technical crew led by Mr. Waldrum can take us to that level.”
Pitt has also become a strong program under Waldrum, as it is currently 6-2 eight games into the 2020 season and ranked 14th in the nation after the strongest start to a campaign in program history. Now, with Waldrum staying put in Pittsburgh and the Panthers playing better than ever, the team will look to rebound from its recent losses to Virginia and Virginia Tech during a four-game homestand.