Narduzzi, Pitt announce new defensive coordinator, other new coaches

By Chris Puzia / Sports Editor

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Pitt head football coach Pat Narduzzi has begun to make his first changes to his program.

On Friday, Pitt announced that Josh Conklin, former Florida International defensive coordinator, will take on the same position at Pitt, according to the press release.

Conklin led FIU to a top-35 finish in total defense this season, and his defense ranked fourth in the country in takeaways with 33. He was a 2014 Broyles Award nominee, which selects the best assistant coach in the country. Narduzzi won the same award in 2013.

Additionally, Andre Powell will become the team’s running backs coach and special teams coordinator. He served in the same position at Maryland for four years. Under Powell’s coaching, running back CJ Brown led the Terrapins’ running game this past season with 539 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.

Before that, Powell coached NFL running backs like CJ Spiller, whom he coached at Clemson, and Willie Parker at North Carolina.

Dave Andrews, who previously worked on Notre Dame’s strength staff, becomes Pitt’s head strength and conditioning coach.

Ben Mathers will take over as director of football operations. Mathers came over with Narduzzi from Michigan State, where he was an operations assistant. According to the press release, Mathers will work with Chris LaSala, assistant director of football operations.

LaSala formerly worked as Pitt’s strength and conditioning coach.

“In assembling our staff, we are looking for great people and great teachers,” Narduzzi said in the press release. “Each of these men fit that mold.”

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