The Pitt football program has called a 5:30 p.m. news conference where Dave Wannstedt and Athletic director Steve Pederson will speak to the media.
The Panthers are expected to call Wannstedt’s ouster a “resignation” but that’s nothing more than just a PR move from the program.
Wannstedt was signed through 2014 and it was long thought that he would move into a high profile athletic department role but not this soon. Hence, with four years left on his contract, he will probably stay involved in some capacity that is believed to be undetermined at this time.
The decision to move into another direction has created some shock waves in the college ranks as many didn’t believe Pitt would pull the trigger.
Pitt officials are already saying internally they will go after big names and could even make a “splash”.
One major concern for officials is Pitt’s lack of ability to fill Heinz Field, one source this afternoon predicted they will attempt to go after some big names as the program lacks buzz.
Pitt has yet to formulate an official group of candidates but officials began the preliminary process this weekend.
Internally, Frank Cignetti will get some consideration for job.
Athletic director Steve Pederson is said to be very high on Oklahoma State Dana Holgerson who is a tremendous offensive coach and established the Cowboys into one of the most prolific offenses in the nation.
Another name to keep an eye on over the next couple weeks is Mike Leach. He’s the kind of coach, Peterson is drawn too, according to a Pitt source. He would sure create some buzz and put in the kind of offensive system that will make the Panthers exciting to watch. However, he’s never been a coach whose a strong recruiter or liked by his players.
Speculation has been rampant for weeks that Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has a strong interest in the job. It remains to be seen how high he will be on Pitt’s wishlist but expect a lot of speculation centering around Lewis in the coming weeks as he’s expected to be fired following the 2010 NFL season. However, Pederson is very unlikely to go into this direction.
Should Pitt contact Penn State’s Tom Bradley? Would be quite a story but won’t happen.