Pat Narduzzi Introduced As Pitt Head Coach


Its official, former Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, 48, was introduced as the new head coach of the University of Pittsburgh on Friday.

Pat Narduzzi is the reason why in the past four seasons Michigan State have been among the best in the nation in terms of defense and winners of 52 games during that span.

Under Narduzzi this season, Michigan State is ranked third in the Big Ten and seventh in the NCAA FBS in total defense (293.5 ypg) and sixth in the FBS in rushing defense (97.5 ypg.). The Spartans are currently ranked No. 1 in the FBS in turnover margin (+1.67). Their +20 in turnovers has them tied for third best in the FBS.

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Since 2010, Michigan State’s defense has stayed in the top 10 in total defense and has held opponents to 18 points per game over the past five seasons, ranking fourth best in the FBS during that time span.

In his 11-year run as head coach Mark Dantonio’s defensive coordinator the team has come a long way and have achieved a lot of things defensively, that the organization has not seen in a long time.

Since joining Michigan State in 2007, Pat Narduzzi won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant in 2013. He was responsible for leading one of the nation’s best defenses to a Rose Bowl in 2014 in the midst of a school record 13 wins. He has won the Big Ten championship, coached 19 first-team All-Big Ten players.

Eight Spartan defensive players have made it to the NFL under Narduzzi, most recently first-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals, Darqueze Dennard in 2014.

Some of the notable players Narduzzi has coached were Defensive Back of the Year honorees – Darqueze Dennard in 2013 and Kurtis Drummond in 2014. He is also responsible for Greg Jones becoming Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and Shilique Calhoun winning the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year.

Narduzzi  expressed his gratitude:

“A special thank you to the wonderful players we have at Michigan State.” Narduzzi said on The Detroit News. “I can’t say about them. I’ve never caught a football in a game at Michigan State, I’ve never made a tackle, I’ve never sacked the quarterback, those are the players that make plays. All I do is coach. Without their belief and the way they play, this doesn’t happen and I’m not sitting at this podium again. Shout of to the Spartan Dawgs. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.”

Dantonio was also grateful for the part Pat Narduzzi played at Michigan State:

“He’s one of five coaches who have been here from the start (at MSU since 2007), so he’s played an integral part in helping to build the foundation of our program.” According to the Detroit Free Press. “The success we’ve enjoyed over the last eight seasons, both collectively and on the defensive side of the football, has afforded Pat with this opportunity to become a head coach in a Power 5 conference. That’s a tremendous accomplishment, and he’ll do an outstanding job at Pittsburgh. We wish him nothing but the best.”

For Spartans everywhere, it’s bittersweet. You hate to lose a guy like Pat Narduzzi, but you’re happy that he’s getting a chance to move on to something better.

Pat Narduzzi says he has “unfinished business” to take care of and will coach his last game Jan. 1st when the No. 8 Spartans (10-2) take on No. 4 Baylor (11-1) in the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas.

Next: Narduzzi Departure Big Loss For Michigan State