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Mark Whipple resigns as Pitt offensive coordinator

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The coach oversaw the No. 3 offense in the nation and played a key role in the rise of ACC Player of the Year Kenny Pickett

Pittsburgh v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mark Whipple resigned on Tuesday and will not serve as the offensive coordinator on the Pitt coaching staff moving forward, per John McGonigal of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. As a result, he is not expected to be present when Pitt faces Michigan State in the Peach Bowl.

Pitt confirmed Whipple's resignation on Tuesday afternoon, and Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi issued a statement on his departure.

"During his three seasons at Pitt, Mark Whipple was a great asset for our entire football program," Narduzzi said in the statement. "He did a tremendous job transitioning us from a heavy run attack to one of the best passing games in the entire country. His great work with quarterbacks was obviously on full display, given the outstanding year Kenny Pickett has enjoyed. I am very grateful for Mark's time in Pittsburgh, both personally as well as professionally, and I wish him and his family the very best moving forward."

Whipple has more than 40 years of experience in coaching and was hired by Pitt in 2019 after serving as the head coach of UMass from 2014 to 2018. During his three seasons at Pitt, Whipple took a weak, run-heavy offense inherited from Shawn Watson and molded it into a juggernaut. As a result, Pitt climbed from No. 94 in the nation in scoring offense under Watson in 2018, with 25.6 points per game, to No. 3 under Whipple in 2021, with 43.0.

The reason for Whipple’s resignation has not been made public, and how Pitt will manage its offense with Whipple no longer on the sidelines remains to be seen. The only other coaches on the Pitt staff who have served as offensive coordinators are Pitt wide receivers coach Brennan Marion, who filled that role at Howard and William and Mary for a total of three seasons, and Tim Salem, who filled that role at Phoenix College, Purdue, Eastern Michigan and UCF for a total of 11 seasons.

With Whipple being 64 years old and coming off a dominant 45-21 ACC championship victory over Wake Forest, retirement could be on the horizon for the coach at this point. However, Parker Gabriel of the Lincoln Journal Star reported on Tuesday that Whipple is a candidate to fill the vacant offensive coordinator position at Nebraska and that he is “believed to have interviewed on Sunday."