|Pitt defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads leaves for Auburn|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 17 January 2008 08:59|
Rhoads informed Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt of his decision Wednesday night. The Panthers will immediately begin seeking his replacement, with defensive line coach Greg Gattuso a possible candidate. Gattuso is the former Duquesne coach.
Rhoads replaces Will Muschamp, who was hired as the defensive coordinator at Texas.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville first offered the 40-year-old Rhoads the defensive coordinator's job in 2002, but Pitt kept him by giving him a large raise and a longer contract. Rhoads was retained in 2004 by coach Dave Wannstedt after former coach Walt Harris, who knew he wouldn't get a new contract at Pitt, left for Stanford.
In addition to being the defensive coordinator, Rhoads coached Pitt's defensive backs for seven years, coaching players such as cornerback Darrelle Revis, a New York Jets first-round draft pick last year.
Last season, Rhoads switched to coaching the linebackers, where Scott McKillop was the nation's leading tackler and a third-team All-America pick.
Rhoads is leaving Pitt after one of the best games ever played by a Panthers defense, the 13-9 upset of then-No. 2 West Virginia on Dec. 1. The Panthers held West Virginia to 183 yards, or nearly 292 yards below their average.