Pat Narduzzi Departure Is A Big Loss For Michigan State


According to reports by ESPN, Sports Illustrated and others, Michigan State Defensive Coordinator Pat Narduzzi is on the verge of accepting the head coaching position at Pitt.  Narduzzi, who had been mentioned as a head coaching candidate in recent years, just got a raise following the Spartans 2013 Rose Bowl Championship.

Narduzzi will replace Paul Chyrst who left Pitt to accept the head coaching position at Wisconsin.

ESPN reports, Narduzzi views the job at Pitt as a destination position.  Upon moving to Pittsburgh he will be reunited with former Spartan turned Pittsburgh Steeler Le’Von Bell who was excited to have his former college coach in the same city again.

"“I was an offensive player, so I always went against him in college. But when I watched him react to his defense, I know that our players loved him. They just loved playing for him. He’s an overall great guy, a player’s coach,” he said.“So, it’s crazy that he’s going to be right across the street [hallway] from me. I’m just glad I’ll be able to reunite with him, so I can support him and he’ll support me again,” he said."

The Pitt Panthers and Steelers both call Heinz Field home during the football season.

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Narduzzi had tremendous success at Michigan State building some of the nations best defenses over the last few seasons.  Although he has had success as coordinator its hard to blame Pat Narduzzi for wanting a promotion.  The Spartans defensive coordinator earned $904,583 last season. Narduzzi stands to make at least double that has the Panthers head man.

So where does this leave Michigan State?  Narduzzi’s departure won’t be official until after the Christmas holiday so there has been no announcement from the Spartan camp on the future of the defense.  Secondary coach Harlan Barnett could be the internal candidate to succeed Narduzzi.  He is familiar with the system and the team defensive recruits and could offer a seemless transition.  Barnett could get to call the plays for the first time when the Spartans face the Baylor Bears in the Cotton Bowl.