Saturday, August 15, 2009

Message Board Debates

I'm hoping to throw some topics out here to get some discussion going. Please use the comments section responsibly and be respectful of the other posters because these are only opinions.

Anyway, first topic: Jones and I have always discussed this and can't seem to find the answer. On many message boards you always hear about people talking about wanting a "Pittsburgh guy". When Dave Wannstedt was hired everyone was hired that he was a "Pittsburgh guy", when Jamie Dixon was hired people were interested in Calipari and Sean Miller because they were "Pittsburgh guys". Now after Matt Cavanaugh had moved on to the Jets, people were excited with the FCJr hiring because he is a "Pittsburgh guy".

What is it about being a "Pittsburgh guy" that makes all of the fans view them as more desirable?


Anonymous said...

it's that you think they are going to stay...pretty simple, if you get a successful guy from the area they are more likely to stay in their hometown. That is a plus.

rkohberger said...

That's a great topic of discussion.

IMO the desire for a
"Pittsburgh Guy" is centered around the University as a whole, and not just the football (or BB) programs. The relationship between PITT football and the city of Pittsburgh is unique in a way... very few universities have the type of synergy with a major metropolitan area PITT (and UPMC which means PITT to most WPA citizens) does - as the leading employer in the region, major tax payer to local coffers and leading landlord in the city proper. In a real way PITT has become Pittsburgh to many people.

So, if you look at the average Pittsburghers and their standards and values, you see that local civic pride is huge there - I grew up inside the city and every time I go back to visit this fact is reinforced to me. People who stay in the area fiercely love it - even while 'running it down' verbally - and people who have moved away feel the same, and speak of moving back if possible. That civic pride, and the city itself, is what PITT sells to outsiders, are what recruiters have to emphasize to recruits and their parents as part of the draw to attend PITT. Who better to do that than a coach, or coaches, who love the area, and the University, they are selling.

One thing to realize about this - recruiting is all about selling the kid's families on the school in addition to what will happen on the field during their four years. In my conversations with some of the player's parents I always asked them "What made you guys pick PITT?" and invariably the answer has been (to paraphrase) 'Dave Wannstedt - how much he loves the university and the city, and how much he wants these kids to get a degree from PITT...' DW sells these things because he believes in the University itself, its football history and traditions, and the campus life and the city of Pittsburgh's welcoming environment.

Because he lived in Pittsburgh, went to PITT and thrived, he feels others should do the same.

Justin said...

A Pittsburgh won't be as quick to leave us for a bigger paycheck somewhere else... according to message board logic at least

John said...

We should want the best coach we can possibly get regardless of where he lived, went to school, or played football. Do you think kids today give a crap about what happened in 1976. News flash...It's 2009!!! Do you think the top athletes are staying away from U of Florida because Urban Meyer is not a "Florida guy" or staying away from USC because Pete Carrol is not a "USC guy". This is the most ridiculous argument one can make. Good kids will go to good coaches where ever they are not to a washed up never was who is a "local guy". Jamie Dixion did not go to Pitt but he gives me more pride in my University than Wanny ever will.

rkohberger said...

John - I think you may be looking at this from only one POV - recruiting. I suggest you think about what the real concerns for the University Board and the athletic Department is - donor money and how the HC represents the university.

Their job is to get the person who will cover all the bases... keep the program viable, keep the alumni and donors (and I mean the 'whale' donors who carry the day when it comes to granting Trust largess to the university as a whole), happy and not do anything to degrade the excellent reputation PITT has both locally and nationally as an institute of higher learning.

This argument can, and does, go on forever - but I'll say without hesitation that the football field isn't the only place the administration looks when they considerer hiring & firing head coaches.

rkohberger said...

^^^ BTW - Jamie Dixon qualifies as a "Pittsburgh Guy" to some extent as he was on staff and had been in the area before he was hired as a Head Coach. Put it this way - to further my argument above, the University already knew what Dixon's attitude and character was by observing him for three years before offering him the position.

Danny said...

While it is nice to have a guy who stands a better chance of not leaving since he is from the area, I would much rather have a guy who will win and win big.

Really, it shouldn't matter where a person is from just as long as that person can win.

Agnus and Jamie are not Pitt people but they've built something big and have enough invested to stay.

I'd rather have a coach here for 4 years that wins a national championship (majors) than be stuck with a guy who won't leave for 15 years and never finds a high level of success.