Pitt hires Mark Whipple as offensive coordinator
If Pat Narduzzi was looking for an experienced play-caller and quarterbacks coach in his quest to hire Pitt’s next offensive coordinator, Mark Whipple fits the description.
Whipple, 61, has handled those duties at a variety of places for all but one year of the past four decades, working with prominent football names such as George Allen, Andy Reid and Ben Roethlisberger.
• He was Roethlisberger’s first quarterbacks coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-06, leaving the organization after Bill Cowher retired.
• His first professional job was under Allen with the USFL’s Arizona Wranglers in 1984.
• He also helped Reid lead the Philadelphia Eagles to the NFC championship game after the 2008 season.
Most recently, Whipple was the head coach at UMass for the past five seasons, stepping down after the 2018 season, his 11th at the school. It was his second stint at UMass after he won an NCAA I-AA national championship in 1998.
“Mark Whipple is truly one of the best teachers of offensive football in the country: college and pro,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “His track record working with quarterbacks is simply outstanding, and I know that positional group will really grow under his influence.
“Mark will not only make a huge impact from an offensive standpoint, but his tremendous wealth of experience will benefit our entire program. I really value the fact that we are adding another staff member who has been a head coach. We are thrilled to welcome coach Whipple and his family back to Pittsburgh.”
Whipple will be Narduzzi’s fourth offensive coordinator in five seasons, replacing Shawn Watson, who was fired Jan. 4 after two years.
An Ivy League graduate, Whipple was a quarterback at Brown before he embarked on his coaching career in 1980.
He was an assistant coach at St. Lawrence, Union, Brown and New Hampshire before he was named head coach at New Haven and Brown before getting the job at UMass. He was offensive coordinator at Union and New Hampshire.
After he left the Steelers and Eagles, he was named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami (Fla.) for two seasons (2009-10) before going to the Cleveland Browns to coach quarterbacks for two seasons (2011-12).
Whipple’s son Spencer, who attended Pine-Richland, was a defensive graduate assistant at Pitt under former coach Paul Chryst. Spencer Whipple was UMass’ passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach the past five seasons for his father.
The elder Whipple was suspended for one game at UMass last season after he criticized the officiating and compared a perceived missed pass interference call to sexual assault.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry at email@example.com or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .