Michael Haywood is fired as Pitt Head Football Coach……What!?!?!?! Didn’t this guy just get hired and now he’s gone already? After being arrested for a domestic assault charge at his house in South Bend Indiana, which was changed to a felony, Pitt immediately fired Haywood upon his release from prison on Saturday. Is this some kind of joke? What an absolute debacle for the University of Pittsburgh in the past month. First the firing of Dave Wannstedt which I have said before that I have no problem with as he has underachieved. The thing that gets me mad that I have also mentioned is the angle they took of firing Wannstedt for Haywood is that Haywood is a disciplinarian and will mold these kids into men. The press conference about early morning practices and wearing suits to away games are all well and good, but the irony that Haywood would turn into a hypocrite.
I’m not bashing Haywood and I understand that people make mistakes, but I am more in shock and disgusted at the actions that have taken place at the University. The team has a game in 6 days that we still don’t know who will be Coaching it. It was clear that A.D Steve Peterson missed out on his main target in former Oklahoma State and current Coach-in-Waiting and Offensive Coordinator Dana Holgorson and that we made a quick hire in Haywood. Does this seem familiar to you? For those of you who don’t know, Peterson was the Pitt A.D. before and left for his dream job at the University of Nebraska for the same position. Then a similar situation arouse when Peterson wasn’t able to land any of his top choices and ended up making a panic selection in Bill Callahan. The name speaks for itself and cost him his job as he returned to Pitt. I won’t say hiring Haywood was a panic move, but as Chancellor Nordenberg said in his statement, that the school will take their time and do more extensive research this time around. I liked the hiring of Haywood at the time but what does the school do now? What does Haywood do now?
The quick firing of Haywood is the only reason that Peterson deserves to keep his job in my mind. I said yesterday that he deserves to go down with the ship but the quick reaction has slightly rendered my opinion. Coaches winding up in trouble isn’t a new thing as the cases with George O’Leary and Mike Price with their lying on their resume and strip club antics respectively. Both Coaches are still in charge of a program, though lower recognized ones in Central Florida and Texas El Paso, so Haywood may get another chance down the road. Keep in mind however, that the others weren’t actually arrested and arraigned. He doesn’t have the longevity or reputation to overcome something like this say as Rick Pitino does when the case in Louisville happened a year or so back. Where does the school go from here?
You hear the sexy name in Mike Leach who I’m shocked he hasn’t went to Maryland yet as rumored. Leach has expressed interest in Pitt but this is not the man for the job. With the horrible press the school just got in Haywood, they can’t afford someone who has baggage. They have one shot to do this right and even though his allegations down in Texas Tech are to me blown out of proportion, a guy with a pending case with ESPN will not turn the light away. They need the cleanest guy with no record to come in. Recruiting starts tomorrow and while they need the right guy, they need him soon or the dwindling recruiting class will be no more.
K.C Keeler of Delaware is still a guy that would fit perfectly in this establishment and is someone they should seriously consider. The most likely candidates will be Tom Bradley from Penn State if the school can swallow their pride and realize hiring a Penn State man will only hurt Penn State more or current Pitt Defensive Coach Greg Gattuso will land the job. I like both men and Gattuso has the respect of the team and the University as a down the liner from Wannstedt. Whether it’s Keeler, Gattuso, Bradley, Rich Rodriguez or another guy we don’t know who he is, Pitt needs to put the pedal to the metal and clear their image with a true leader and a true football coach.
About the Author
Written by Michael Waterloo
I'm currently pursuing my Master's degree in Communication and Journalism from Clarion University. I currently work for Ohio Valley Athletics where I serve as the West Virginia Football Beat Writer and cover West Virginia Men's Basketball as well. I'm a big Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Penguins, Pitt Panthers and Oregon Ducks fan. Follow me on Twitter at @MichaelWaterloo or visit www.ovathletics.com