Ex-Pitt offensive coordinator Mark Whipple resigned from his position on Pat Narduzzi’s coaching staff on Tuesday amid rumors of interest in moving on to a Big Ten program, and the following morning, Nebraska announced that it had hired Whipple to fill the same role.
At Nebraska, Whipple will join the staff of Scott Frost. Whipple’s new boss notably turned UCF from a 0-12 team in 2015 to a 13-0 team in 2017 before returning to Lincoln to coach at his alma mater. But since taking the reins at Nebraska in 2018, Frost has yet to post a winning record, and that has seen him part ways with two offensive coordinators in four years, including Troy Walters and Matt Lubick.
Neither Walters nor Lubick were able to field a top-50 offense at Nebraska, with the team topping out at No. 58 in scoring offense during Frost’s tenure. Of course, that was under Walters in 2018, and since then, the Huskers offense has been unable to crack the national top 70 under Lubick, who averaged just 25.5 points per game in his two years in Lincoln.
Given all that, Whipple has a tall task ahead of him, but he proved he was up to the challenge of building an offense from scratch during his time at Pitt. During his three-year tenure with the Panthers, Whipple inherited what had been the No. 94 offense in the country in 2018 and turned that into the No. 3 offense in the country in 2021. He also shifted Pitt from a run-first team to a pass-heavy attack and gave Kenny Pickett an opportunity to shine.
As for Pitt, the question now is how the team will move on from Whipple. Narduzzi could go the route of promoting from within, as both Brennan Marion and Tim Salem have years of experience as offensive coordinators. However, Pitt could also fill the position by looking beyond its own ranks as it has in the past.