Media quote sheet from Wednesday, August 14
The second-year Pitt coach announced three new assignments.
The Panthers scrimmaged for nearly three hours on Saturday.
The Panthers dressed in full gear for Friday's practice.
The 2012 NFL draft will be held in New York City from April 26-28.
Western Pennsylvania native Joe Rudolph returned to his roots to join Paul Chryst's Pitt coaching staff. Rudolph enters his third year as the Panthers' assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. After coaching the running backs in 2013, Rudolph's position focus will be on the tight ends this season.
Last year, Rudolph oversaw the development of freshman running back James Conner, who rushed for nearly 800 yards on the season and set a Pitt bowl record with 229 yards against Bowling Green in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. Named the bowl's MVP, Conner averaged 8.8 yards per carry to lead the Panthers past the MAC champion Falcons, 30-27.
Another young star in Pitt's offense, Tyler Boyd, led the nation's freshman receivers with 85 catches for 1,174 yards, surpassing Larry Fitzgerald's school freshman records in both categories. Boyd was a unanimous Freshman All-American.
In Rudolph's debut campaign at Pitt in 2012, he helped orchestrate an effectively balanced offensive attack that produced a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher. Tino Sunseri passed for 3,288 yards--the second highest single-season total in school history--with 21 touchdowns against just three interceptions. Ray Graham rushed for a career-high 1,042 yards and earned first team All-Big East. It was the first time in school history Pitt had a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher in the same season.
Rudolph additionally played an instrumental role in Pitt's 2013 recruiting class and was selected one of the country's top 25 recruiters by Rivals.com.
A native of Belle Vernon, Pa., Rudolph arrived at Pitt following four highly successful seasons at Wisconsin, his alma mater, as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator. His efforts played a vital role in one of the best four-year runs in Badgers history. During that span, Wisconsin won two Big Ten titles and advanced to four bowl games, including a pair of Rose Bowls.
Under Rudolph's watch, Wisconsin had a tight end selected in three consecutive NFL drafts: Travis Beckum in 2009 (New York Giants), Garrett Graham in 2010 (Houston Texans) and Lance Kendricks in 2011 (St. Louis Rams). Kendricks will go down as one of the most decorated tight ends in UW history as he was a first team All-American and finalist for the John Mackey Award as a senior.
Prior to UW, Rudolph was tight ends coach at Nebraska in 2007. He also assisted with special teams and had direct oversight of the punt coverage unit.
Rudolph spent three years at Ohio State (2004-06) serving as an offensive graduate assistant his initial two seasons before being named the team's strength coordinator in 2006. As a G.A., his positional focus was on the offensive line, providing him the opportunity to work with such All-Big Ten performers as Rob Sims, Nick Mangold, Doug Datish and T.J. Downing. The Buckeyes played in a bowl game each year of his tenure, including the 2006 Fiesta Bowl and 2007 BCS National Championship Game.
A graduate of Belle Vernon Area High, Rudolph was a three-year starter in both football and basketball for the Leopards. He went on to sign with Wisconsin as a member of Barry Alvarez's first Badgers recruiting class. Rudolph twice earned All-Big Ten honors as a hardnosed offensive lineman and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection. In 1993 he helped the Badgers to a 10-1-1 record, the Big Ten title and first Rose Bowl victory in school history with a 21-16 decision over UCLA. As a senior in 1994, Rudolph served as a team captain and helped lead Wisconsin to an 8-3-1 record and 34-20 win over Duke in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
Rudolph played in the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl. He played two seasons in the National Football League, earning a roster spot with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1995 before joining the San Francisco 49ers in 1997. In 2002, at the age of 29, he was elected to the Mid Mon Valley All Sports Hall of Fame, becoming one of its youngest inductees ever.
Rudolph earned his bachelor's degree in zoology from Wisconsin in 1995. He received his master's degree in business administration from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University in 2004. Rudolph and his wife Dawn have three sons, Alex, Andrew and Austin.
|BORN||July 21, 1972|
|HOMETOWN||Belle Vernon, Pa.|
|ALMA MATER||Wisconsin, 1995|
|FAMILY||Rudolph and his wife Dawn have three sons, Alex, Andrew and Austin.|
|COLLEGE COACHING EXPERIENCE|
|OHIO STATE, 2004-06||2004-05, Offensive Graduate Assistant; 2006, Strength Coordinator|
|NEBRASKA, 2007||Tight Ends|
|WISCONSIN, 2008-11||Tight Ends|
|PITTSBURGH, 2012-Present||Assistant Head Coach & Offensive Coordinator; 2012 & 2014, Tight Ends; 2013, Running Backs.|
Pitt Football Positional Preview: Special Teams
Pitt's Conner Named to Walter Camp Award Watch List
Pitt Football Positional Preview: The Defense
Pitt's Conner Named Preseason Doak Walker Award Candidate
Three Pitt players named Wuerffel Trophy candidates
Pitt's Bisnowaty Named to Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List