It didn’t take long for the Pitt football team to find a new defensive line coach — and one whose Pittsburgh ties run deep.
Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi announced Charlie Partridge as the Panthers’ new defensive line coach Tuesday afternoon in a press release. Partridge replaces Tom Sims, whom Narduzzi dismissed Feb. 4 after just two years with the team.
Partridge served as an assistant coach at Pitt from 2003 to 2007. He was the defensive line coach during his first four seasons with the team and worked with the linebackers in his final year. In addition to his other duties, he held the special teams coordinator position in 2006 and 2007.
“Charlie’s familiarity with Pitt is a major asset, and the fact that he has experience as a head coach will benefit our entire staff,” Narduzzi said in the press release. “His reputation as a strong recruiter is highly deserved and will serve us well all across the ACC footprint, including Pittsburgh.”
After his time with the Panthers, Partridge moved on to coach at Wisconsin from 2008 to 2012. Starting off as a defensive line and specialist coach, the team eventually promoted him to assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator duties for his last two years with the Badgers. During his time in the Big Ten, he got to know Narduzzi, who was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State at the time.
“I’ve been a big fan of Charlie’s work for a very long time,” Narduzzi said in the release. “I remember watching his defensive lines at Wisconsin and really admiring how they played…He’s an incredibly bright coach who is an excellent teacher and knows how to develop players.”
Partridge left Wisconsin for Arkansas in 2013, where he served as assistant head coach with supervision over the defensive line. He then took over as head coach at Florida Atlantic University where he coached the Owls to three straight 3-9 seasons from 2014-2016. Because of these poor records, FAU fired Partridge in late November and replaced him with former Alabama Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to return to Pitt and work with Coach Narduzzi and his staff,” Partridge said in the release. “I’m fully aware that the University of Pittsburgh is a special institution in an amazing city with a top-notch football program that competes at the highest level in the ACC.”
His first game back on the sidelines for Pitt will come on Sept. 2 as the Panthers host the Youngstown State Penguins at Heinz Field.