Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Dave Huxtable is Panthers new defensive coordinator

New Pitt coach Paul Chryst continues his raid of Wisconsin's staff by hiring the Badgers' linebacker coach Dave Huxtable to be his defensive coordinator.  This follows Chryst's hiring of Wisconsin's offensive line coach Bob Bostad, presumably for offensive coordinator.

Huxtable has been a defensive coordinator before, most recently at Central Florida for three seasons.  His defenses in those years were ranked highly in many national categories, including in the 2010 season, when Central Florida nationally finished No. 15 overall in total defense, No. 8 in scoring defense, and No. 8 in rushing defense.  In 2009, Central Florida finished No. 4 nationally in rushing defense and No. 6 in sacks.  In 2008, Huxtable's defense was No. 3 nationally in tackles for loss.

Huxtable also was the defensive coordinator at North Carolina in 2002 and 2003, and Western Kentucky in 1989.  He also coached at Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, and East Carolina.

Huxtable, who will begin his 30th year in coaching, is a 1979 graduate of Eastern Illinois.


There are also rumors that Belle Vernon native Joe Rudolph may also exit Wisconsin for Pittsburgh.  Rudolph was a former star offensive guard for the Badgers, and he is currently the tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator for his alma mater.  However, Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema is trying to land Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator to be his new offensive coordinator, meaning Rudolph would not get the job.  If that happens, there is speculation that Rudolph, who is close with both Chryst and Bostad, may prefer to come to Pitt and be the new offensive line.  Rudolph is considered the best recruiter on the staff and pairing him with new linebacker coach Chris Haering could make Pitt formidable in PA recruiting.

63 comments:

  1. Finally, for the first time in weeks, the magic word in CFB appears: recruiting.

    Since our shiny new head coach reportedly won't / can't / don't recruit, I'll be happy once I finally see "...Pitt has hired [insert new coaches names] who are some of the best recruiters in the business...". Or words to that effect.

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  2. Your best recruiters are usually your younger guys. That's how a coach gets his bones. I'm guessing Haering will be a good recruiter and I'm guessing there will probably be some young DB, RB, or WR coach, or coaches, that Chryst hires that will be the looked at to be the main recruiters. Chryst, Bostad, and Huxtable will mostly be the closers when the prospects are on campus.

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  3. With Alex van Pelt now out of a job (Tampa Bay), any chance of him landing on the Pitt staff?

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  4. I doubt it. I think Chryst will go with who he's comfortable with.

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  5. Chris, do you think this plan applies to the high school coach / former Hoopie we hired yesterday? That he'll be assigned to use his local contacts to milk the WPIAL for all it's worth?

    So far, the Chryst regime seems to be slow in getting its rainmakers in place -- especially with National Signing Day now about 3 weeks away. I just hope the guy realizes how much he needs them (i.e., how important recruiting is in CFB), and that he doens't plan to simply ride on the haul from Todd Graham & Company.

    Unfortunately with his role and rep at Wiscy (i.e., to coach up the players the rainmakers bring him...), that's not a given.

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  6. I'm sure Haering will definitely be recruiting locally. And Chryst has plenty of time to recruit. Most of the class is in place already. In most coaching changes, there's usually a lot to do in recruiting but that's not the case this time.

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  7. everybody is ASSuming that Chryst can't recruit. let's be honest, he never had to recruit. with that said, if you did your research you'd see that when he did recruit (mostly qbs) he landed almost all of those prospects. all Chryst needs to do is put some finishing touches on the class, ie, tight end, o lineman etc

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  8. longsufferingpittfanJanuary 4, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    I hope Huxtable does well, but I was really hoping that Chryst would give Patterson a hard look. He's the guy that really got hosed in this whole deal.

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  9. It was Wisconsin people who said Chryst wasn't fond of recruiting. But I'm sure he realizes he has no choice now that he's the boss.

    It's looking like if Rudolph does not get the Wisconsin OC job, and that's unlikely, that Chryst will offer Rudolph co-OC job along with Bostad.

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  10. patterson did get a raw deal for sure.the kids seem to like him and the def played really good.

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  11. Chryst has to live and die with this staff so he has to go with who he knows. It sucks for Patterson but that's the life of a coach. His only mistake is that he tied his wagon to a total jackass.

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  12. Does anybody know if hc chryst will be in attendance at bowl game?

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  13. Good question. I'll see if I can find out.

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  14. Chris, are you saying it's unlikely Rudolph will not get the Wisconsin OC job (i.e., that he will likely get the Wisconsin OC job)?

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  15. It looks like Bielema is looking elsewhere. Perhaps Jay Norvell from Oklahoma. Pitt then could give Rudolph the co-OC job and a little more money. Good for the resume and good for the pocket book.

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  16. does new hc have same amount of money to higher his staff as the jackass graham?i think he had about 2 million.

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  17. Apparently he does. These guys had good gigs and they are coming to Pitt. They wouldn't be doing it out of the kindness of their hearts.

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  18. longsufferingpittfanJanuary 4, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Or to face the rath of Joe D

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  19. I'm feeling good about Chryst so far and his team. I hope he can close the deal with a few of the potential recruits who are left to get. I would also like to see what he can do with Mark Meyers too.... I gotta believe that if Meyers has a clue he realizes that a fresh start like this doesn't come around often.....and I just can't take another year of Tino. Chris, I know you have said Tino is the likely starter, but do you think Meyer gets a good chance to win the job?

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  20. He will definitely get a chance. I just think he would have to be significantly better to get the job and I don't know if he has that in him.

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  21. any worries out there that our new dc was a coach on a team that just gave up a ton of yards.i know the ducks put up points on everybody but still is a little scarry.hopefully chris is right and we have better athelets.

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  22. He was the LB coach, not the DC so that really wasn't his doing. And, by the way, two of his linebackers were all-conference in Big 10 this season.

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  23. What are your thoughts on Patterson to Arkansas State? I say good for him and his family. I'm glad he's distancing himself from Graham but I feel bad for the drop in competition and I'm sure pay.

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  24. Pretty obvious that he wanted nothing more to do with Graham.

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  25. After watching the Rose Bowl I'm just glad Chryst didn't get Chris Ash to come over....

    Getting Rudolph would be great.....looking forward to Pitt FB again.

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  26. OT, but now you know why Missouri was tampering with Birch....

    http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7420764/missouri-tigers-say-kadeem-green-plans-transfer

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  27. WOW ... talk about high octane!!! WVU is pouring it on Clemson.

    Think WVU is the team to beat in the BE next year

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  28. You mean the Big 12. No way, they are in the Big East next year.

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  29. You're probably right about that. They sure looked impressive... or Clemson is just terrible... and they are the conference champs.

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  30. When Chryst was first hired he said he would be a spectator at Pitt's bowl game.

    Chryst seems to be doing a great job so far. How boring.

    CD -- care to weigh in on the apparent cluster---- at Penn State? Considering the poor record of NFL types moving to the college ranks, what is Penn State thinking? As bad as Sandusky made things, it looks like their search committee is making the situation worse by the day.

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  31. Nobody wants that job. In maybe five years a bunch of people may want it, but right now it's a career killer.

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  32. After watching WVU on National TV in the Orange Bowl, if you were a local WR(Foster), why would you choose Chryst over Holgorsen? Even moreso, look at what he did for Justin Blackmon. If WVU shows him what kind of stats Blackmon could rack up, he may take a long, hard look at WVU.

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  33. Trust me, Foster is not going to WVU. They've never gotten a 5 star from western PA and he won't be the first.

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  34. Trust me when I tell you that if someone shows him Justin Blackmon on film and says, "if you go to wvu, this could be you", he will consider it. You seem to think Foster is a slam dunk to Pitt. No 5-star is ever a slam-dunk to Pitt. In fact, the better the player, the worse chance they have. I'll venture to say that if Urban Meyer wants him, he'll be at OSU. And with that, it won't even be a competition between Chryst and Meyer.

    Also, WVU has now clearly passed up Pitt. It's really not even close anymore. If they are in the BE next year, they may seriously whack Pitt. Geno Smith is going to be a star next year.

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  35. I don't know how many times I have to explicitly say that Foster is not a slam dunk to Pitt. The only thing I know for sure about Foster is that no way in hell is he going to West Virginia.

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  36. West Virginia is clearly the best of the 3 programs (PSU, PITT, WVU) at the moment. If I'm a kid and had to choose I pick WVU.

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  37. Anonymous should remain anonymous. WVU will be in the Big12 next year. Holgorsen will recruit Texas more than western pa. Kids from WPA do not like to play in front of no family as they take on Kansas, Iowa State and Kansas State, in those destination cities. Geographically it makes no sense but since WVU could not get into the ACC or Big10 because of academic fraud (see manchin diploma granting), they had no other choice.

    That said, they would have either been team 15 or 16 to the ACC. WVU panicked and went to the first place that asked. Big mistake.

    Pitt on the other hand is doing all the right things now that Steve P was not involved in the decision-making process.

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  38. Chris,

    I understand that the number of scholarships remaining for this year is fluid but, "about" how many remain and who are the top most realistic targets at this point?

    Thanks

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  39. WVU has really been the "best" program locally the past decade, yet they have not outrecruited Pitt. That tells me 1) It's not going to happen soon, and 2) Recruiting is often misjudged and overvalued. I wouldn't be freaked out about one game, even though it was a great advertisement for the program.

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  40. Recruiting is a bit more than being a better team. That great WVU team that barely won by 1 against Pitt, doesn't outrecruit Pitt for lots of reason. It's in the middle of nowhere, it has no local talent, it is a terrible academic institution, etc. And this whole idea that they have big time college crowds is simply not true as they average in the mid 50K in attendance. Pitt also has produced great pro players, WVU has not. So it shouldn't be a suprise that Pitt routinely beats out WVU for kids, especially in the state of Pa.

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  41. It's simple. Pitt underachieves and WVU gets everything out of their program, to their credit. But if it Pitt lives up to their potential, WVU would not be in their class as a program.

    As for the recruiting, it's hard to say how many scholarships are left because there are always ways to get one or two more. I'm guessing probably anywhere from 5-7 realistically.

    As for names, that again is hard to say. Could they convince a JJ Denman to change his mind? Do they go after Eugene Lewis? Maybe Chryst and Huxtable looks at Rippy's tape and doesn't want him. And on and on. There's just so many unknowns. In the next week or two we can see who they are pursuing and then we'll have an idea.

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  42. Chris-Just my opinion but it seems that Tino Sunsuri has showed some real class and mauturity when questioned about Fruad Graham. Tino took the high road and I respect him for this. Sure hopes he has a good game on Saturday.

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  43. The theme of PC's presser said it all. Lets wait to see what he does with recruiting and not judge him on heresay and 3rd party opinions. Chris, you've done a great job of identifying some potential 4-5 star recruits that he may be able to land. I'm willing to wait and see what he can do both in keeping a relatively decent class intact and adding to it.
    Foster or any other WPa/Md/NJ/OH recruit will consider that WVU's CLOSEST conference team is almost 700 miles away. Besides, these kids will be just as excited by what Wisc's offense has done this year as they will by one game by WVU. The 'eers looked terrible beating Pitt by only 1 point at home and lost to Syracuse, so lets not get too carried away with them.

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  44. Yeah, I'm a sucker for a happy ending. I'd love to see him be the starter and have a good year. Not only would it be good for him, it would be good for Pitt.

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  45. re: "It's simple. Pitt underachieves and WVU gets everything out of their program, to their credit. But if it Pitt lives up to their potential, WVU would not be in their class as a program"
    _______________________________________________

    Amen to the above! When I look back and ponder some of the prospects that have come thru the PITT Football Program, it begins to dawn on me how badly they were mishandled and to a degree how often their best athlete's either weren't utilized correctly or never saw playing time. Pitt has had 3 RB's over the years who had they committed to big schools may had been Heisman material. Romeus and Sheard who would have been monsters on an any SEC team and one punter who is All-World. How Wanny and to a lesser extent "the Fraud" were unable to fill in the gaps and showcase some great talent is unexplainable. I will continue in my belief that there are alot more BAD head coaches than there are bad athletes out there. Pitt coaches have lacked accountabilty for many many years. It's high time that stops!

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  46. Doke:

    I can't remember much about Wisconsin's defense. Do they run a 4-3 and is this what we can expect Huxtable to run?

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  47. It was a 4-3 and I suspect it will be the same.

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  48. For the person who asked if Chryst is expected to be at the game, I got word that he is supposed to be there.

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  49. Chris,

    Just wanted to echo your comments about Tino. I've been a huge critic of the kid, but much of it had to do with him being woefully out of place in Graham's offense.

    It would be nice if he could go out in a blaze of glory, and I think he's got a shot in Chryst's system. I say that only if he's the best QB. If someone else is better, then Tino should be watching from the sidelines.

    It would be nice though if he could shut up his critics (myself included) similar to what Bill Stull did in his senior season.

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  50. If Darren Morningstar can turn into an NBA draftee in his senior year then anything is possible.

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  51. Dan let's not kid ourselves, Sunseri was bad last year (2010) in the pro-set. Better than 2011, but still bad.

    He made the same stupid decisions with the ball, had the same weak scatter-arm, and he's still 4 inches too short to throw from the pocket without a lob.

    And all five losses were gut-wrenching and (except for the total beatdown by Miami) unavoidable with decent QB play. The UConn game in 2010 was particularly painful.

    But as a Pitt fan, we're very good in the hope & optimism department. It's a survival instict.

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  52. The only reason I have hope for Sunseri is because of Chryst. If he can't get anything out of him then there's nothing there to get out.

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  53. Imma,

    Not arguing the point that Tino hasn't set the world on fire at Pitt. I'm just hoping for some redemption for the kid, and I think he's got a much better shot with Chryst than he would've with The Fraud.

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  54. What Tino needs is a sports psychologist. I used to date a girl that played catcher for GA Southern (actually she wasn't half-bad looking either). She told me this story about how she could never throw anybody out at second during th game, but could always do it in practice. Her coach sent her to a sports shrink before her senior year and she was gunning people out right and left. Good in practice, bad in the game, sound like a profile to me.

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  55. Dan, I think you & I are still a bit apart.

    You say "...Tino hasn't set the world on fire...", while I say he's easily the worst Pitt QB in the modern era (since Majors I in 1973), and quite possibly the worst QB in D1-A this year.

    With a gun to my head, I cannot name a single thing that he does well (no exaggeration). A matter of degree, and you're obviously a more optimistic person than I am.

    In short, even if Chryst is a miracle worker, I've had a belly-full of the Cirq du Sunseri (including last year too) and am ready for anybody else to have a shot.

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  56. Chris, have you heard anything about Wayne capers? I know he was high on Pitt before but I havnt heard anything about him since fraud left.

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  57. The old staff no longer had an offer for him, but it's too early to know what the new staff will do with him yet.

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  58. Chris, I know he's had injuries but you'd think that Pitt could find an offer for someone as athletically gifted as him.

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  59. It's all up to Chryst. I mean, athletically he's good enough for an offer, but I don't know what Chryst will think. He may decide the scholarships should be used in a different manner.

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  60. Another Jamie Dixon fiasco. The amazing thing is not the season the Pitt is having this year, but how Dixon ever had the success he had the last 9. This guy is just an awful coach. Preparation, fundamentals, foul shooting, and game management. The worst. Bring on Sean Miller. Bring back Mike Rice. Even Tim Herrion. If UCLA fires Ben Howland, Pitt should welcome him back with open arms.

    I cannot believe Pitt will be joining the ACC with this guy at the helm of the basketball program. He may be the salt of the earth as a person, but as a basketball coach, well, Wright State was right, no pun intended. 10 years of frustration with this guy is enough. We need a change. Any resemblance to the Howland teams of the early 2000s is long gone. Wagner at home, a mediocre Notre Dame team, an average Cincinnati team also at home, and now an absolutely horrible DePaul team that may not win another game in the Big East.

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  61. Please, Dixon will be fine and should learn something from all of this. He blew any shot this team had of being good by not giving his younger guys more of a shot earlier, but it's a pretty different team than he's ever had, so I think we can cut him a break and see how he adjusts. At least he played the young guys a bit more in the first half.

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  62. Hard to give Dixon a break when he can't evaluate his own players....and why was Epps in the game in the last half minute? Or Robinson? Even the cleaning lady knew they were going to foul...

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  63. o'brien to coach penn state. welcome to career suicide sir. LMAO!!!!

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