Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple resigns from post with Pitt football

Offensive+coordinator+Mark+Whipple+at+a+Pitt+football+game+at+Heinz+Field.

TPN File Photo

Offensive coordinator Mark Whipple at a Pitt football game at Heinz Field.

By Stephen Thompson, Sports Editor

Pitt offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple resigned from his post Tuesday morning, as first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. He is not expected to coach in the Panthers’ final game — the Peach Bowl on Dec. 30 vs. Michigan State.

Head coach Pat Narduzzi confirmed the report on Tuesday afternoon.

“During his three seasons at Pitt, Mark Whipple was a great asset for our entire football program,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “He did a tremendous job transitioning us from a heavy run attack to one of the best passing games in the entire country.”

Narduzzi added that Whipple’s work was “obviously on full display,” given the “outstanding” year from redshirt senior quarterback Kenny Pickett.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox three times a week.

“I am very grateful for Mark’s time in Pittsburgh, both personally as well as professionally, and I wish him and his family the very best moving forward,” Narduzzi said.

Whipple has called plays for the Panther offense since 2019 and played a key role in getting quarterback Kenny Pickett — the 2021 ACC Player of the Year and a Heisman Trophy finalist — to return for a fifth and final year. The coach’s contract was up at the end of this season. 

Whipple’s next move is unknown. He visited Florida State transfer quarterback Chubba Purdy in Arizona last night, as Pitt offered a scholarship to Purdy. He also interviewed with Nebraska for its vacant offensive coordinator position on Sunday, according to the Lincoln Journal Star.

Whipple, a former quarterbacks coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers and head coach at UMass for five seasons prior to his tenure at Pitt, oversaw a reorientation of the Panthers attack when he arrived in 2019. The Panthers, who leaned on the strength of two 1000-yard rushers in 2018, transitioned to a more pass-heavy approach the following year.

The Panther offense increased its scoring output in each of Whipple’s three seasons calling plays, culminating in a record-setting 2021 campaign where Pitt scored 43 points per contest. The 2021 offense ranked third nationally in scoring, sixth in passing yards per game and fifth in total offense per game.