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Wannstedt fires two assistants, keeps Rhoads |

Wannstedt fires two assistants, keeps Rhoads

| Tuesday, December 5, 2006 12:00 a.m

Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt today announced the firing of linebackers coach Curtis Bray and strength and conditioning coach Mike Kent, but that defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads will return next season.

Rhoads, however, will now focus his position coaching on the linebackers instead of the secondary, which he has handled since 2000.

“Having been a coordinator for a significant part of my career, I know the advantage of having your linebacker coach, who is involved in defending both the run and the pass, also serve as defensive coordinator,” Wannstedt said in a statement. “Having Paul make this positional switch will better serve our entire defensive unit and help us put more emphasis on our rushing defense.

“In addition to hiring a secondary coach, I anticipate we will be making additional appointment on our strength and conditioning staff. I plan on interviewing strength coach candidates this weekend and expect to have someone in place by Christmas. This will enable our off-season program to begin full-speed when our players return the first week of January.

“Our goal is to build a top 10 football program at Pitt and we are continuously striving to improve in every area on and off the field.”

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