Following up on the reports from Thursday night, Pat Narduzzi has made a couple of additions to his Pittsburgh coaching staff.
Narduzzi announced Friday the additions of two assistants to his first nine-man staff with the Panthers: defensive coordinator Josh Conklin and special teams coordinator Andre Powell. Powell will also serve as running backs coach.
The 35-year-old Conklin comes to Pitt from FIU, where in two years he transformed into one of the most talented young defensive minds in the game. With Narduzzi spending the past eight years as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country at Michigan State, Conklin will get the opportunity to continue to grow in the profession under one of the best.
“Josh Conklin oversaw an incredibly disruptive unit at FIU,” Narduzzi said in a statement. “They were among the top five in the country in takeaways and defensive touchdowns. We want our Pitt defenses to have an attacking, opportunistic mentality and Josh will help us achieve that.”
Powell, meanwhile, comes to Pitt from Maryland, where he spent the past four seasons as special teams coordinator and running backs. Narduzzi and Powell have a previous working relationship, spending the 1993-94 seasons on the same staff at Rhode Island.
“I’ve known Andre Powell for more than 20 years,” Narduzzi said. “In addition to coaching a lot of great running backs, Andre has a tremendous passion for outstanding special teams play. We faced him and Maryland this past season and I was highly impressed by their special teams.”
In addition to Conklin and Powell, it was also announced that Dave Andrews has been hired as strength & conditioning coach, coming over from Notre Dame, and Ben Mathers, operations assistant at MSU, will serve as director of football operations.