PITT INTRODUCES HAYWOOD; WVU EYES NATIONAL CONTENDER STATUS
Did we see two different agenda’s being put in place by West Virginia and Pittsburgh today?
“At the end of the day results matter, “West Virginia Athletic director Oliver Luck said in his press conference today on the decision of getting rid of Bill Stewart as head coach after the 2011 season, with the hiring of Dana Holgorsen to take over in 2012.
So why did Luck make the move despite Stewart being in line to have a 10 win season?
“We weren’t getting the results, ” Luck said. “There’s also a financial component to this. Our season ticket base has declined from Stewart’s first year to the present time. We’ve had two crowds since 2004 under 50,000 and both of those took place in the last couple of years. That to me is an indication that our fans aren’t satisfied with the product, and that factors in as well.”
“Let me briefly touch on the future. I want the Mountaineer program, and I expect us, to compete at the highest levels. Certainly the goal of our program is to win a national championship. In order to do that, we need to win BIG EAST Championships. As I look out on the horizon, what I see is a rapidly improving BIG EAST, by and large because of the addition of Texas Christian University in 2012.
“TCU has a tremendous program, ranked third in the country and playing in the Rose Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers, and I think that TCU is going to raise the bar for all of us in the BIG EAST. We need to respond to that and prepare ourselves because I believe that eventually the road to the BIG EAST Championship will go through Fort Worth, and we need to be prepared to beat a team like TCU on the road to win a BIG EAST Championship and get into national championship consideration.
“I also think, as many previous athletic directors and football and basketball coaches think, that TCU will open up some recruiting areas for us down in the state of Texas. I do think we can begin the process of identifying top players in Texas, Oklahoma and throughout the Southwest that will be good players for our program here.”
During Luck’s press conference, there was all kind of talk of winning and being a national title contender, while in Pittsburgh today, the school introduced Mike Haywood as their new head coach.
The difference between the two press conference’s is that there wasn’t much talk of winning in Pitt’s inductory press conference.
“From my very first meeting with Michael Haywood, it was obvious that the qualities he exhibited were in line with the values of this great University,” Athletic director Steve Pederson said in his opening statement. “Michael has tremendous pedigree, having been mentored by some of the very best coaches in the game. His history at outstanding programs with outstanding coaches gave him a rare combination of experiences and background. Most importantly, Michael is a man of character and integrity and will be an inspirational leader for our football program.”
What Pitt is getting in Haywood is an authortative figure who demands discipline. Wannstedt was more of a players coach and Haywood is going to be establishing a totally different culture. There won’t be players hanging out on the southside at night under Haywood’s watch.
For Haywood though, he has a lot to prove with his first obstacle being able to recruit in Pennsylvania. 17 and 18 year olds are not drawn to coaches who are not player coaches. That’s just how it is now.
“We talked to five excellent head coaches, all of whom are a credit to this profession,” Pederson said. “From the first meeting with coach Michael Haywood last Friday morning, the qualities that he exhibited were absolutely in line with the values of this great university.”
Haywood today called it an honor to be joining Pitt
“I would like to sincerely thank Chancellor Nordenberg and Steve Pederson for the opportunity to become the head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Haywood, who becomes the 35th head coach, and first African-American head coach, in Pitt football history. “It is an honor and privilege to join such an accomplished academic institution and historic football program. I’m looking forward to the challenges and opportunities we will have as we work to achieve our goal of a Big East championship.”
Haywood will not coach in Pitt’s bowl game but will immediately begin interviewing assistant coaches on the staff. Keeping some on board could be crucial to Pitt’s chances of keeping many of their recruits.
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