Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt is being forced out of the job he always wanted, and the one he never truly wanted to leave. Wannstedt resigned under pressure...
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt is being forced out of the job he always wanted, and the one he never truly wanted to leave.
Wannstedt resigned under pressure Tuesday, three days after Pittsburgh finished a disappointing 7-5 season by beating Cincinnati 28-10. The former NFL Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins coach will remain as a special assistant to Panthers athletic director Steve Pederson.
Pitt apparently chose to change coaches this week, rather than after playing Kentucky in the Jan. 8 Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., because most top candidates might not be available by then, and national signing day would be less than a month away.
Wannstedt, 58, gave no signs Sunday after Pitt accepted the minor bowl bid he was weighing retirement, and he said he was looking forward to recruiting.
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At a news conference Tuesday, it was quickly evident Wannstedt didn’t voluntarily choose to leave. A number of Pitt players, not invited to the session, gathered around him to show support.
“You know what? I had a few things to say but this says it,” said an emotional Wannstedt, 42-31 in six seasons. “I appreciate the opportunity that (chancellor) Mark Nordenberg and this university gave me to come here, win games and most importantly to try to make a difference in these young men’s lives. Thank you.”
Wannstedt, who has drawn sharp criticism for his in-game coaching, will be allowed to coach the bowl game if he wants. Offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti Jr. likely will coach the team if Wannstedt doesn’t.
• Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, previously Oklahoma’s offensive coordinator, got a seven-year, $8.4 million contract. He is the Hoosiers’ sixth coach since 1996.
“Shoot, we’re going to build something special here and it starts with me,” Wilson said.
Wilson, 49, replaces Bill Lynch, who was fired last month.
• Boise State President Bob Kustra took a swing at the Bowl Championship Series, condemning the system that determines the national championship and other major postseason games for being allowed to operate under a shroud of secrecy.
Kustra dashed off an e-mail to fellow university presidents and conference commissioners a day after analysts discovered an error in the final BCS standings. The glitch caused BCS officials to revise the computer rankings, moving Boise State up one spot to No. 10 and dropping Louisiana State to No. 11 in the standings.
The adjustment didn’t have an impact on the Broncos’ date in the Maaco Bowl in Las Vegas with No. 20 Utah.
• Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, 23, has been suspended from all team activities after the wide receiver’s arrest on drug charges.
Court documents say Johnson-Koulianos and a roommate were arrested after officers executed a search warrant as part of a drug investigation. Police say investigators found more than $3,000 in cash, marijuana, cocaine and prescription drugs in their house.
Johnson-Koulianos caught 46 passes for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns this season.
• Army coach Rich Ellerson, who this season will guide the Black Knights to their first bowl game in 14 years, has been given a two-year contract extension through 2015. Army faces Southern Methodist on Dec. 30 in the Armed Forces Bowl.
• Texas A&M’s Von Miller won the Butkus Award as the nation’s best linebacker.
• Texas defensive end Sam Acho is the winner of the William V. Campbell Trophy, given to the sport’s top scholar-athlete, and will receive a $25,000 scholarship.