Steve Pederson out as Pitt athletic director
Pederson came under scrutiny for how he handled football coaching hires.
On the same day that former Pitt coach Paul Chryst was formally introduced at the new coach at Wisconsin, the Panthers announced that athletic director Steve Pederson will also be leaving the university under a “mutual agreement” with the school.
Whoa. As Paul Chryst leaves Pittsburgh for Wisconsin … Pittsburgh is parting ways with AD Steve Pederson. pic.twitter.com/vEdK6pW18o
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) December 18, 2014
This was Pederson’s second tenure at Pitt, previously having been athletic director between 1996 and 2002. From 2002 to 2007, Pederson was the athletic director at Nebraska, but returned to Pitt in 2007.
Pederson struggled in hiring football coaches in his second tenure with the Panthers. He forced Dave Wannstedt out in 2010, and his first hire, Mike Haywood of Miami (Ohio), was fired three days after his hiring due to a domestic violence arrest. Pederson then hired Todd Graham, who bolted to Arizona State after one year, and then he hired Chryst, who spent three years at the school before heading back to Wisconsin.
Before this announcement, Pitt was reportedly targeting Greg Schiano, but now the school will have two major openings in its athletic department. Chancellor Patrick Gallagher has only been at the school since August and has never made a high-profile athletics hire, but if he doesn’t hire a new AD before finding a new football coach, Pitt could be in a tough position. Though maybe it won’t make a huge difference:
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) December 18, 2014