Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi golfing for his ‘passion’ – cancer research
The most important part of the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge is not 12 college football coaches trying to outdo each other on a golf course.
It’s competing, for sure, but every penny of the $650,000 prize pool, including the winner’s purse of $100,000, goes toward scholarships and charities earmarked by the coaches.
Pitt’s Pat Narduzzi is competing for the Stanley M. Marks MD Endowed Research Fund at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center. The event concludes Tuesday at the Reynolds Lake Oconee Resort, near Atlanta.
It was an easy choice for Narduzzi to pick his charity.
Narduzzi’s father Bill, who coached at Youngstown State, died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “He gave me the passion for the game I coach,” Narduzzi said.
Plus, former Pitt running back James Conner, now with the Pittsburgh Steelers, recovered from the disease.
“When you see it affect your dad, you see it affect your players, it’s something I have a passion for,” Narduzzi said.
He is partnered this week with former Pitt quarterback and current ESPN college football analyst John Congemi. Narduzzi doesn’t pretend to be a great golfer, but he takes the game seriously when he has time to play.
“I like to be good at whatever I’m doing, (especially) if I’m going to spend four hours on the golf course,” he said. “Obviously, I like to win, but I don’t spend much time practicing so I don’t expect to get many results.”
He knows his limitations.
“My wife (Donna) just said it the other day, ‘You don’t have the personality for a golfer. You do everything fast.’ ”
As part of the event, Narduzzi was interviewed by the tournament organizers when he revealed some personal information, including his pregame ritual (prayer) and a talent few know he possesses.
“I guess I’m good with my hands. I can build,” he said, pointing out his father was an industrial arts teacher. “I could probably build a house, electric, plumbing, do it all.”
What about your favorite meal, coach?
“We’re going to have a great Italian pasta meal, going to pull out the bread machine and get the homemade bread going, pull out the pasta machine. “I’ll make the pasta, but I won’t make the sauce. My wife will make the sauce and the meatballs and the braciole and we’ll have a heckuva meal.”
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .