South Carolina newspaper ranks Pitt’s Narduzzi 9th among 28 ACC, SEC coaches
When you consider he’s competing against three coaches who have won nine national championships, Pat Narduzzi’s ninth-place finish in the Charleston (S.C.) Post and Courier’s ranking of all 28 SEC and ACC coaches shows a measure of respect for the Pitt coach.
Among ACC coaches, he was fourth behind only Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (two of the past three national titles), Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson (Narduzzi beat him head-to-head in a road game last season) and N.C. State’s Dave Doeren. Narduzzi is 2-2 against them.
— DreamBackfield.com (@IntoPitt) May 11, 2019
Overall, Narduzzi is 28-24 in four seasons at Pitt, with one Coastal championship.
Post and Courier columnist Gene Sapakoff wrote of Narduzzi, who was 16th in last year’s rankings, “Sure, the ACC Coastal Division isn’t exactly the Battle Rounds competition on “The Voice,” but Narduzzi knows how to overachieve.”
That sounds suspiciously like a shot at Pitt’s roster. Perhaps Sapakoff is referring to Narduzzi building a record that is four games over .500 while upsetting eventual national champion Clemson and winning the Coastal with recruiting classes from 2015-18 that finished 14th, fifth, seventh and eighth in the ACC, according to Rivals.com.
All the coaches ranked ahead of Narduzzi are (1 through 8), Swinney, Alabama’s Nick Saban (six national titles), Florida’s Dan Mullen, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher (national championship at Florida State), Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Clawson and Doeren.
Last and 28th place belongs to Fisher’s successor at Florida State, Willie Taggart. Wrote Sapakoff: “What’s worse, a once-proud Florida State program ranking 112th nationally in scoring offense or 90th in scoring defense? The Seminoles’ record streak of 36 straight seasons with a bowl appearance dating to 1982 was snapped with a 5-7 finish. ”
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .