Pat Narduzzi plans to transform Pitt into a version of Michigan State
Pat Narduzzi received his first opportunity to be a head coach from the Pitt Panthers. He has no qualms about stealing the blueprint from his old Michigan State boss, Mark Dantonio, and bringing it to the Steel City.
“I think there’s a lot of things we do well at Michigan State, so I would say you will see Michigan State of the city of Pittsburgh, really,’' Narduzzi told the ‘Griff and Grinz’ Show on Lansing’s 92.1 FM The Team, per MLive.com’s Mike Griffith.
“Why would you change the blueprint of what Coach Dantonio has done there?’' he asked. “There will be tiny little things here and there, but the blueprint has been set. I’ve been in the program for 11 years with Coach Dantonio, and I know how we’ve done it and built it, and I think that’s the way it’s going to be.’'
Dantonio’s formula is simple: play fundamentally-sound and physical defense with a ball-control offense. The Michigan State program has also been highly successful developing its talent despite lesser recruiting classes.
However, Narduzzi agreed he wouldn’t bring any fellow Michigan State coaches with him to Pittsburgh.
“That’s probably the hardest job I’ve had so far, putting together a staff and getting the right people,’' Narduzzi said. “Too often you see guys, (like) Charlie Strong in one year at Texas, he’s already fired two guys and you look throughout the country and after one year, boom, they (assistants) can be gone.”
The former defensive coordinator also confirmed that he’ll have some input in Jim Chaney‘s offense.
“My initial intentions are to let it go, but through this last month, I’ve talked to a ton of head coaches that say, ‘Hey Pat, keep your hands on it early, then let it go -- don’t let it go and have to come back in,’ which makes a whole lot of sense,’' Narduzzi said. “My job is still to coach all the coaches and make sure practices are run the way we want them to be run and organized.”
Now that the coaching staff is set, Narduzzi doesn’t plan on making many changes during his tenure.
“Continuity has been a big thing for me at Michigan State and Cincinnati,” he added. “One of the reasons Pitt was such an attractive job is because it’s a job where assistant coaches can come and be happy as long as the head coach stays there.’'