Johnny Majors, from TENNESSEE, turned Pitt football around and won the National Championship in his fourth year. He gave the program over to Jackie Sherrill, an OKLAHOMA native, who over the next five years went 50-9-1 before leaving not to his hometown but to Texas A&M who simply paid more. Bottom line, it was the golden era of modern Pitt football and it was orchestrated by two guys very far away from Pittsburgh. One went back to his alma mater, but the program was STILL excellent with Sherrill who only left for money.
Ben Howland, from CALIFORNIA, turned Pitt basketball into a national power. And he came from Northern Arizona, and before that Hawaii and Santa Barbara. Never has a Pitt coach looked so much out of place. He went 57-11 in his last two years and lasted four years overall before going back home to coach UCLA. Replacing him was his right hand man, Jamie Dixon, from CALIFORNIA. Dixon, currently in his NINTH year, decided not to go back closer to home and instead decided to stay in Pittsburgh.
What I'm saying is this whole "he will leave us as soon as he can" mantra that many Pitt fans have is ridiculous. Todd Graham is an anomaly in many ways, one of them being that he was a coward who left because his wife didn't like it in Pittsburgh. But the bottom line is, Pitt football and Pitt basketball were turned around by people far from Pittsburgh and even though both Major and Howland left to go back home, THE PROGRAMS REMAINED STRONG AFTER THEY LEFT. The only reason the football program went back down was because of horrible leadership at the university after Sherrill left.