Narduzzi gets a new deal through 2024


Pittsburgh has signed coach Pat Narduzzi to a new contract that will keep him with the Panthers through the 2024 season.

The school announced the deal Wednesday. Financial details were not disclosed.

Narduzzi is 21-17 in three seasons with the Panthers, including a 5-7 mark in 2017. Pitt pulled off major upsets in each of the last two years. The Panthers were the only team to beat eventual national champion Clemson in 2016 and stunned second-ranked Miami last month. Pitt has also sent 14 players to the NFL during Narduzzi’s tenure, including five in 2017.

Narduzzi is an Ursuline High School graduate who began his college football career as a linebacker at Youngstown State, where his father Bill was the Penguins’ coach from 1975-85.

Athletic director Heather Lyke called Narduzzi a “tireless worker” and said the athletic department is “deeply committed” to helping Narduzzi and his staff help the Panthers compete at the “highest level” in the ACC.


Morris hired to replace Bielema as head coach


Arkansas has hired SMU’s Chad Morris as the new football coach.

The 49-year-old Morris, a longtime Texas high school coach and former Clemson offensive coordinator, agreed Wednesday to a six-year contract worth $3.5 million annually. He replaces Bret Bielema, who was fired after compiling a 29-34 record in five seasons — including 11-29 in the Southeastern Conference.

Morris leaves the Mustangs after compiling a 14-22 in three seasons. He took over a team that finished 1-11 in 2014, won two games his first season and improved to 5-7 in 2016 and 7-5 this year.


Dimel takes over as Miners head coach


Kansas State offensive coordinator Dana Dimel has been named head coach at UTEP, where he will take over a team coming off a winless season.

Dimel was named the Miners coach Wednesday. Sean Kugler resigned Oct. 1 after the team’s 0-5 start in his fifth season at his alma mater. Former coach Mike Price served as interim coach the remaining seven games.

UTEP said in a release that the school and the 55-year-old Dimel are working on a mutually agreeable start date following completion of his coaching responsibilities with Kansas State, his alma mater where he has been back since 2009. The Wildcats play in the Cactus Bowl on Dec. 26.

This will be Dimel’s third stint as a head coach. He had a 30-39 record at Wyoming (1997-99) and Houston (2000-02).


New coach Taggart grew up Seminoles fan


Willie Taggart grew up a Florida State fan and dreamed of playing for the Seminoles.

He never donned the garnet and gold as a player, but has managed to one-up that goal.

Taggart was introduced as the 11th head coach in Florida State history on Wednesday as he returns to the Sunshine State after one season at Oregon. The 41-year old Bradenton native coached at South Florida from 2013-16 before taking the Ducks job.

The news conference capped a hectic two weeks at Florida State that included Jimbo Fisher resigning last Friday to accept the opening at Texas A&M .

“Guess I wasn’t good enough to get a scholarship to play here,” quipped Taggart, who played and later coached at Western Kentucky. “No matter where I went, I rooted for the Seminoles. Until I went to South Florida. That was the first time I had to root against the Seminoles.

“People say blood is thicker than water. Not in my household. We’re playing the Seminoles and my brother, die-hard ‘Nole fan, was talking about the game and said, ‘I’m sorry, bro, I love you. But I can’t go against my ‘Noles.’ That’s just how it was.”

Associated Press

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