Pitt defensive coordinator resigns for N.C. State job
Defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable has resigned his position at Pitt to accept the same job at North Carolina State, which will be one of the Panthers' rivals when they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference next year.
Huxtable, who often displayed an abrasive coaching style that contrasted with coach Paul Chryst's laid-back demeanor, will join the staff of new Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren, who was hired after two years at Northern Illinois. Huxtable will not coach Pitt in the BBVA Compass Bowl on Jan. 5, but Chryst has not named a replacement.
Chryst's staff includes line coach Inoke Breckterfield, linebackers coach Chris Haering and secondary coach Matt House, none of whom have served as a college coordinator.
“We appreciate Hux's contributions to our program this year and wish him the best in his new opportunity,” Chryst said in a statement.
Senior safety Andrew Taglianetti said he appreciated Huxtable's passion and intensity for the game.
“You didn't want to be the one getting yelled at by him, but you appreciated it when it happened,” Taglianetti said. “Even when he yelled at someone else, you fed off it and said, ‘Let's get it going here.'
“That is something North Carolina State is really going to like. He has taught us well these past 14 weeks. I don't think we will lose a step for the (Compass Bowl) because of the groundwork he laid.”
North Carolina State will be the sixth school — the third from the ACC — to employ Huxtable as defensive coordinator. He previously served at Independence (Kansas) Community College, Western Kentucky, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and Central Florida. He joined Pitt this year after one season as linebackers coach at Wisconsin.
Doeren is a former defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, although he did not serve with Huxtable on the Badgers' staff.
“Dave is an ACC veteran coach with a great track record of fundamentally sound, tough, hard-nosed defenses,” Doeren said. “He and I have similar defensive philosophies. We know a lot of the same people, and they all say that he is tremendous as a coach, a person and a technician.
“He has a great track record recruiting in the state of Florida from his time at UCF, in Atlanta from his time at Georgia Tech and throughout the South. He also has experience in the state of North Carolina from his time at UNC.”
Huxtable, 56, oversaw a young Pitt unit that developed throughout the season and finished 16th in the NCAA in total defense (325.8 yards per game), 21st in scoring defense (19.7 points), 24th in rushing defense (129.1 yards) and 25th in passing defense (196.8 yards).
Defensive lineman Aaron Donald earned first-team All-Big East honors after leading the conference with 18 1⁄2 tackles for loss. Safety Jason Hendricks was a second-team selection who led the Big East with five interceptions.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7997.