Wannstedt Fired

According to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and ESPN, Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt has resigned.

Per the Post Gazette:

Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt resigned under pressure today, it was announced at an emotional press conference at the team’s UPMC Southside facility.

According to multiple sources, it was not Wannstedt’s decision to resign and he was forced out by the university administration.

An emotional Wannstedt, who will remain as the special assistant to athletic director Steve Pederson, addressed the media and had a written statement.

ESPN adds:

Wannstedt’s tenure was marked by upset losses to teams such as Ohio University and Bowling Green and a failure to play in a BCS bowl — something the Panthers did under lame-duck coach Walt Harris before Wannstedt took over in 2005. Wannstedt went 42-31 in six seasons, including a 26-12 mark from 2008-10 that is Pitt’s best for a three-season stretch since 1981-83.

Pitt won only one bowl game under Wannstedt, beating North Carolina 19-17 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl last season.

Pederson, who returned to Pitt in 2007 after first serving in the job from 1996-2002, also was concerned about numerous no-shows at Heinz Field. The announced attendance often was far larger than the actual attendance, and the Panthers had few sellouts under Wannstedt. Pitt was 4-2 at home this season, with blowout losses to West Virginia and Miami (31-3).

This will be Pederson’s first national coaching search since his failed hiring of Bill Callahan at Nebraska in 2004, a move that followed the surprise firing of Frank Solich following a 9-3 season.

Personally, I’m going to miss Wanny, although I have no idea what a special assistant to Pederson means.  Does that mean he’s in charge of donuts and coffee?

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