Pitt notebook: Win or lose, TEs coach Tim Salem often sleeps in office
When Pitt tight ends coach Tim Salem left Heinz Field after the loss to Penn State on Saturday night, he slept for about an hour.
When he got home, he inflicted more punishment upon himself by staying up late to watch his brother Brad, the quarterbacks coach at Michigan State, lose at Arizona State.
Then, it was on to Georgia Tech, Pitt’s next opponent.
“I haven’t slept since the game, really,” he said.
The little sleep he got came in Pitt’s practice facility while working 18-hour days Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Win or lose, his routine is the same.
“(Days) are long, anyway,” he said while speaking to reporters at noon Tuesday after practice. “I’ve been in this building since 7 a.m. on Sunday. I haven’t left. I slept here. That’s just the way it is.
“Sleep doesn’t come easy, anyway. Sometimes when you’re sleeping, you can’t sleep. You’re now worried about, ‘I have to tell so-and-so this or I have to do this.’
“It’s a great diet plan. If you want to lose weight, just coach football.”
Salem, 56, said that’s the life football coaches often must accept.
“When you lose a game, a little bit of you has died,” he said. “You do somewhat die when you lose a game.
“To recover from that, you just have to turn the page and buckle up for the next game. If you sit around nowadays and wait and sulk and complain for 48 hours, you just lost 48 hours of preparation for the next game.
“We play 12 one-game seasons. Every week is a season by itself, and you have to prepare like that.”
Pitt’s practice facility becomes a sanctuary.
“When I go home late at night, it’s ‘Honey, can you change the light bulb? Can you move this out in the garage?’
“No, I don’t want to change no light bulb. I’m not moving nothing out to the garage. So, I don’t want to go home. My honey-do list is gone because I’m not there. “This is my sanctuary right here. You ought to try it.”
Salem did lament, slightly, that there’s no time to enjoy a victory until, possibly, after the season.
“Whether you win or lose in our profession, there’s no time to celebrate and no time to complain,” he said. “It’s right to the next game.
“That’s the real sad thing I’ve learned over these years. When you win a game, guess what? You won. Go on to the next one.”
Georgia Tech loses Benson
Georgia Tech running back KirVonte Benson won’t play against Pitt or anyone else this year after suffering a season-ending knee injury Saturday against South Florida. Benson was an All-ACC selection last year after rushing for 1,053 yards, including five 100-yard games in his first season as a starter.
The good news is he will be eligible in 2020.
“I feel terrible for him,” Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said, “because he worked hard. He’s a strong kid. He’s undergone that before. He had it happen in high school, so hopefully he’ll be back.”
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.