Monday, January 2, 2012

New linebacker coach: Chris Haering

Former Mt. Lebanon high school football coach and West Virginia linebacker Chris Haering will be the new linebacker coach for Pitt.  Haering has coached at Mt. Lebanon for the past 17 years, and he was also a Civics teacher at the school.  A native of Colorado, the 44-year old Haering won the WPIAL championship at Mt. Lebanon in 2000.

As a player, Haering was one of the best players in Mountaineers history when he was named 3rd Team All-American in 1989.  He is still ranked seventh all-time in tackles at the school.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Mike White once relayed a story of Haering at Mt. Lebanon where Haering heard his team recite a chant in the locker room that had a few cuss words.  Haering stormed from his office and told them that swearing doesn't make you tough, it's what you do on the field that makes you tough.  Haering is considered a tough, no nonsense type of coach and person.

54 comments:

  1. Good work Chris!

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  2. This is not a good hire. You don't take flayers on high school coaches at the Big East/Acc level. This smells of a "I feel pressured to get someone who is related to the wpial because I know no one." type of hire by Chryst.

    I thought they allotted money for top notch assistants? This guy doesn't fit that mold.

    He is also not a fast-riser like so many of the other coaches you have written about. If he were worth anything, he would not have been at Lebo for 17 years.

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  3. Gus Malzahn disagrees.....

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  4. wow... really????

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  5. Gus Malzahm, Chad Morris, Todd Dodge, and even Todd Graham were successful high school coaches before getting into the college game. Saying that, I hope that's the last reach of the staff.

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  6. He may have not pursued college coaching until now. It's tough to say. But he's a good high school coach and was a great player. I have no doubts that if he wanted to be an assistant in the past he would have had little trouble. Hell, WVU probably would have taken him for sure. I definitely wouldn't call him a reach yet. We will have to see how he does. But let's not forget that every great college coach had to have a first year at one time.

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  7. Anonymous, This is not a desperate hire, check the bottom paragraphs at the link below, Haering's brother is a grad assistant at Wisconsin.

    http://blogs.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/varsity-blog/20883-qgoing-campingq-wednesday-mt-lebanon-and-upper-st-clair

    More than likely Coach Chryst has talked shop with the Haering family and decided to bring him on board. Plus the local WPIAL ties aren't bad either.

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  8. Doke-Honestly, does Chyrst drink beer ad dip during the game-watching the rose bowl and swear I saw him doing it.

    scoocher

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  9. Bet you recruits or potential recruits are watching the Rose Bowl. He's calling a good game... doesn't hurt to have Wilson and Ball though. The tight ends are really involved in his offense.

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  10. The recruits may look at them and say they want to be the next Wilson and Ball. Great recruiting commercial for Pitt.

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  11. He's only a position coach for God's sake. Chda Morris was a HS coach now he is the best o coordinator the country, and if he isnt its Malzahn.

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  12. Chryst may dip but I can guarantee you that the guy is not drinking beer in the booth. There are dozens of people around him, not to mention TV cameras.

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  13. Wonder if Arthur Goldberg comes with him. Not a huge recruit, but a lineman nonetheless.

    JJ Denman still would be amazing, but Chryst isn't going to be that guy I'm sure.

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  14. Yeah I agree. Him coaching in the Rose Bowl is GREAT for Pitt...not sure I understand why some people felt he shouldn't have coached the game

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  15. I think I saw another picture, I'll try to find the link. But what he was drinking looked like it was coming from a Lipton Tea bottle.

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  16. Ideally, we are looking at Voytik and Shell here and I don't think it's that far off. They both remind me of Wilson and Ball. Shell is a bit smoother and Voytik a bit less of a runner, but it could happen. Just need to get the best line in the country next!!!!

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  17. Voytik is very mobile, actually. I think with Voytik, Shell, and some improving OL you could at least Wisconsin-lite which is a start. The pieces are coming into place to be good. To be as good as Wisconsin will take a lot of effort and luck, though.

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  18. Chris who?

    Another stellar hire with no college coaching or recruiting experience!

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  19. So a FR Qb and a FR RB are all of a sudden Wisconsin-lite? That's pretty disrespectful to Wilson, Ball and Abbrederis. The line stinks and you know it Dokish. Chryst cant operate without a power line. He needs to recruit them and coach them up. Too bad he hates to recruit.

    He should not be coaching in this game. If this was his dream job, he'd be at Pitt right now.

    You think Sunseri can match Russell Wilson? Wont even be close.

    DOKISH Who is going to transfer because some guys inevitably will. Who will it be?

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  20. People would respect you more if you just admitted this hire leaves a lot to be desired.

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  21. A little off topic, but Oregon has like 50 zillion uniform combinations, and I notice that a lot of programs have different uniforms, and combinations. I'm a bit tired of the script PITT stuff, but how hard would it be to go to a throwback once in a while, or mix up the uni's. It would go a LONG way with PR. Imagine opening day and Pitt announces that they are wearing the old uniforms, or for a big game. The fans would love it... and the kids love that stuff too.

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  22. It doesn't matter who the assitants are, what recuits watch or think, if Chryst took this job with the yoke of playing Suneri around his neck he will fail.

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  23. Wow, lighten up. I said Voytik and Shell with some OL getting better down the road. I'm not talking about right now. The truth is the Pitt OL should be a lot better next year because of two reasons. One, Chryst and Bostad can flat out coach OL. Two, the OL Pitt already has are made to do what Chryst wants to do. They are strong drive blockers. That's a fact. The OL should be better. Will it be as good as Wisconsin right off the bat? Of course not. Maybe ever, like I said. But with good RBs (which Pitt has), good TEs (which Pitt has), and decent drive blockers (which Pitt has), there's no reason why the offense couldn't be pretty decent next year. Then in the future, the OL gets better, especially if they land a Patrick Kugler, then you have Shell and Voytik behind that line, and you are talking about potentially a pretty good offense.

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  24. Pitt does not have the financial support or backing that most major football programs have, face it Pitt has small gameday crowds and they do not generate revenue like most major programs.

    $$$ makes the college football world go around and Pitt just doesn't generate excitment at their home stadium.

    We are mediocre!

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  25. This coach is a reach. If you a Kugler, why would you choose Pitt over Ohio State? Im quite certain Meyer wants him. You will be a star at OSU. You will play in front of 30K at Pitt.

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  26. Does this mean Pitt LB's will never swear? Thank god, because its been our biggest problem in regards to winning. We swear to much, we lose. Now we are clean, we win. Amazing.

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  27. Umm, Pitt has beaten Ohio State for prospects many times. No reason why Pitt can't do it again. They can't get everybody.

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  28. I cant wait to see sunseri imitate Russell Wilson. After all, Paul Chryst is a savior.

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  29. I'm assuming this is the same anonymous with one pessimistic post after another. At least have the guts to post your own name if you are going to be like that because clearly you have some kind of agenda here.

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  30. Back in 'the day' Pitt brought in several local high school coaches and they excelled. Does the name Joe Moore ring a bell? Turned out to be the greatest OL coach in Pitt's history.

    He has local contacts, knows players and coaches personally and was an All-American LB...sounds ok to me!

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  31. Neutral about the hire but why wouldnt they hire a Def Coordinator first. Wouldnt the Def Coordinator want to have some input on his positional coaches.

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  32. He may have already hired a DC. He may have his whole staff for all we know. They are keeping it quiet. I think we will know a lot in the next few days.

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  33. Smart hire. Assume he'll bring recruiting contacts that Chryst doesn't have yet. By the way, he's calling a very good game against OR.

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  34. Pittsburgh is very provincial. Having a local coach on the staff will do wonders as far as a Pittsburgh high school connection. As far as a coach he was an All-American LB coaching linebackers. I don't see the downside. Was people expecting Ditka?

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  35. I don't think it's insulting to Wilson or Ball at all. In fact, Voytik is a much higher recruiting than Wilson ever was, who was a 2-star non-recruit from Collegiate in Richmond, VA. Voytik is very athletic, albeit may not as athletic as Wilson, and is a top tier QB recruit. Ball was a 4 star guy, but I don't think he was quite at the level of Shell in terms of recruiting. Either way, both kids have very similar styles from what I can tell. I think that's Doke's point.

    And if Pitt wins, they'll sell plenty of tickets like they have in the past. Gameday atmosphere is a significant selling point 6-7 times a year, but lots of kids would rather live in a city like Pittsburgh, train next to the Steelers, and try and be the next Shady McCoy, Darrell Revis, or Larry Fitzgerald. There isn't a school around that can match that trio.

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  36. I am okay with this hire, not that Coach Chryst asked me for my thoughts. Pitt needs some local blood from the WPIAL and thought there might be a lean towards art walker. Coach Haering should be able to keep a few locals from selecting WVU over Pitt. WVU moving to the Big12 actually helps that as well because I cannot see local kids convincing their parents to come see them play in Ames Iowa, or Manhattan, KS. Local Pitt recruits can now have their families watch them play in many away stadiums which should not be undervalued.

    I now read where Dakota Conwell is going to take a visit to Arizona. Really? Tony Gibson convinced him to do that? Chryst will earn some points if he calls the young man and says "if you go on your visit, I need to pull your offer because I am a man of my word and want to be surrounded with men who believe as I do". IF he goes, pull the offer. Same with Trenton Coles. I would love to have those guys suit up for Pitt, but I would not compromise my integrity and allow them the visits without pulling the offers. Not hating on those guys, I want them here. Not sour grapes over the thought of them looking elsewhere either. INTEGRITY!

    In other recruiting news, I think we may end up with Denman or Dodson because of the opportunity to play for the best, a pipeline to the nfl and the local ACC travel for families and friends. Oh, and the academics too!

    The offense looks good at Wisconsin. Prioritize the ball and they can't be stopped.

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  37. Trent Coles may as well just forget it, because nobody else will take a kid with a blown out knee. And I'm guessing Conwell just wants an Arizona vacation.

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  38. Thank God Pitt got the Wisconsin OC and not the DC...

    I'm glad that Chryst decided to do this game and I agree with Chris, this has been great commercial for Pitt. The talk early about the red zone offense at Wisconsin, etc....it was the only game on in this time slot too. Sweeeet!

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  39. Chris, on a scale from 1 to 10 what are Pitts chances of getting jj denman? 10 obviously being its a done deal.

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  40. Right now, a 1 because I don't even know if he's considering it. If we hear that he's thinking about Pitt then obviously I would like to rate it again.

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  41. Interesting quote from Don Nehlen on Haering:

    "It doesn't surprise me a bit that he's doing so well," former West Virginia coach Don Nehlen said. "From the day I recruited him, to the day he left West Virginia I thought he was as special a young guy who has ever walked through these doors. In fact, I wanted him on my staff at one point, but things just didn't work out."

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  42. I am Mt. Lebo class of '97 and played two seasons under Coach Haering (he was hired during the winter of my sophomore year), so I wanted to chime in.

    GREAT hire. We were a losing program when Coach came aboard. Losing record, workout habits, practice habits, attitude and losing expectations. He changed that almost immediately. He is a great motivator and teacher. Best part is he leads by example. Coach worked out with the team every day (including an upper body lift less than a week after he tore his ACL again).

    Coach Haering is by far the best coach I've ever played under, including in college. Pitt LBs will not be a weakness this season. Watch and you'll see. His players will LOVE to play for him. Recruits will be drawn to him - yes because he is a local guy, but moreso because of his charisma, excitement and character are all genuine.

    Lastly, talk about character. He lives it. Still a role model to me, almost 15 years after I have graduated. Great for Pitt.

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  43. Thanks for the insight. Pretty much falls in line with what I know of him.

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  44. It's hilarious to see posters implying that this hire isn't top-shelf enough for Pitt.

    Take an objective look people. The program is in shambles and has just been through a year that puts us in near-laughingstock territory.

    The lasting memories of the past year are a dismally ineffective QB, acres of empty yellow seats at our home stadium and a coaching merry-go-round worthy of a Monty Python skit.

    You people act like the top coaching talent throughout the country should be beating down Pitt's door for the chance to work here.

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  45. Let me say this once and for all about Haering because some Pitt fans don't seem to be getting it. Haering could have been an college assistant 17 years ago but chose not to do it. By now he probably would have been a defensive coordinator somewhere. I think some fans think they are getting a "high school coach". He simply was coaching high school, but make no mistake about it this guy has long been qualified to be a college assistant. If Pitt fans found out that Scott McKillop was going to be the LB coach, they would be doing cartwheels. Well, this guy is even better because he's older and more experienced. That's the only difference. Both were great college linebackers who know how to play linebacker.

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  46. Nothing wrong at all with bringing a highly successful and qualified HS coach on staff as a position coach especially if you have a good relationship with him from other coaching experience like Chryst has with Haering. The fact he brings local recruiting ties with him only makes it more of a no-brainer. If he was the D-Coordinator, maybe a different story.
    I love the fact that Chryst is bringing the Wisc coach that was the strength of that team, namely the O-Line. Chryst will be highly involved in the offensive strategy and likely will have input in play calling during games so all in, its as good as we can expect.
    I will feel even better if his DC is a solid hire since it appears he will be more autonomous considering Chryst's background, and that may be why he is taking his time in making this decision. For now we can only hope he makes another good call.

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  47. Any word on a list of potential recruiters for the states of Ohio and Florida?

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  48. I agree that the DC job is huge because whoever it is will be the man on defense. He won't have much help from Chryst.

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  49. So, this is the best we can do? At what point does Pitt bring in some guys with proven CFB recruiting experience? You know, since our shiny new head coach can't / won't / don't?

    I didn't think it was possible, but so far I'm even more disappointed in the new regime than I was with Mike Heywood and his 100-year old (or whatever) OC.

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  50. I expected Chryst to have his staff in place by now. Then they could have begun working on recruiting today. One thing that a head football coach needs to be successful is a sense of urgency and aggressiveness.

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  51. folks should really calm down a bit and wait to see how this all plays out. i wanted cristobal to get the job probably more than any one here but that didn't happen and chryst is now the coach. it is what it is people and you are going to have to deal with him being the coach of your pitt football team. you have to give the man a chance to see what he brings to the table and what he and his staff can do. i will give him a chance to prove that he can or can't get the job done. if he proves me wrong and does great i will be the first to say good job and i was wrong. if he does horrible i will be here getting on his case like i'm sure the rest of ya will. by the way i think haering is a good hire. chryst must have his DC in place already in my opinion for them to have hired haering. don't see them doing that if the DC is not on board with it.

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  52. As a former player under Chris Haering, and a player in a D-1 program, I can say that there is no better coach out there. Haering knows the game inside and out and he has the ability to motivate players better than anyone I have ever met. It was an honor to play under him and I think his elevation to the collegiate level is long overdue.

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  53. Good thing some of you guys aren't PSU fans...they don't have a head coach or even a permanent AD in place yet....and tomorrow don't look too good either....

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  54. well Jackagain i'm wishing we had a different AD myself. LOL!!!!

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