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Panthers lose another coach to Arizona State

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Friday, Dec. 16, 2011

Pitt's football coaching staff lost another member Thursday evening when co-offensive coordinator Mike Norvell resigned and spent the day with Todd Graham at Arizona State practice.

Norvell, who also oversaw the wide receivers, is the fifth coach to leave the Pitt staff since the season ended Dec. 3. He is expected to be named Arizona State's offensive coordinator. Graham resigned as Pitt head coach late Tuesday.

Norvell's departure pleased Pitt wide receiver Devin Street, who tweeted, "I'm so happy I don't have deal with Mike Norvell lol."

Street, a redshirt sophomore, is Pitt's leading receiver with 48 receptions for 692 receptions and two touchdowns.

Pitt interim head coach Keith Patterson will hold his first practice with the team today, with only four assistants, two quality control coaches and a graduate assistant. Pitt plays Southern Methodist on Jan. 7 in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala.

Patterson hasn't publicly announced his staff assignments, but he was Graham's defensive coordinator this season and likely will call the alignments in the bowl game. Quarterbacks coach Todd Dodge likely will call the offensive plays. The other members of the staff are offensive line coach Spencer Leftwich, defensive line coach Paul Randolph, special teams/linebackers coach Randall McCray, offensive and defensive quality control coaches Dave Bucar and Matt Caponi, and defensive graduate assistant Dan Lanning.

Graduate assistant Bo Graham, the coach's oldest son, also has left the team.

Patterson has said he would like to be a candidate to become Panthers head coach, and athletic director Steve Pederson has said interested staff members will be considered.

"We are not going to limit the candidate pool," Pederson said.

Meanwhile, Graham said Thursday on WGME-AM in Phoenix that Arizona State was the only job he sought at the end of the season.

"I got called by other jobs that I didn't look at it," he said.

Reports had surfaced linking Graham to previous vacancies at Texas A&M and Kansas. A Texas A&M official denied that Graham was a candidate. A Kansas official declined to comment.

Additional Information:

Sounding off

Arizona State coach Todd Graham talks about his exit from Pitt.

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