Dave Wannstedt’s tireless efforts to bring Pittsburgh football back to the national forefront is starting to pay off.
The university extended the contract of its head coach on Tuesday — the second extension the former Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins head coach has received since taking over the Panthers after the 2004 season.
Wannstedt’s current deal runs through 2012, but this two-year extension will provide the stability needed for his recruiting efforts as he continues to build the Panthers into perennial Big East contenders.
After a rocky start to his tenure, in which he was just 16-19 in his first three seasons, Wannstedt has gone 19-7 with two bowl trips in his last two campaigns. The Panthers went 10-3 this past season, the team’s first double-digit victory total since 1981. They came up one point short of a Big East title, losing to Brian Kelly’s Cincinnati squad 45-44. For his career at Pittsburgh, he is 35-26
After Wannstedt received his first extension — of three years through 2012 — hours later he led the team to a 13-9 victory at then-No. 2 West Virginia on Dec. 1, 2007. Both the win and fresh contract helped Wannstedt bring in three U.S. Army All-Americans: wideout Jonathan Baldwin, linebacker Shayne Hale and tackle Lucas Nix.
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