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Dec. 7, 2010


PITTSBURGH--Dave Wannstedt announced today he will resign as head football coach at the University of Pittsburgh. Wannstedt informed Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson of his decision Tuesday.

He will remain at Pitt in the capacity of special assistant to the athletic director.

"The past six years have been among the most gratifying of my entire career," said Wannstedt, a 1974 graduate of Pitt and former standout offensive tackle for the Panthers. "To be the head coach at my university was the realization of a lifelong dream. It has been an honor and privilege to serve Pitt and its football program.

"I've always told our players that the University of Pittsburgh will mean more to them than just four years of school and football. It will influence and inspire everything they do long after their last class and final game. I know that firsthand. I owe so much of my life to the education and experiences I had here. Pitt has always been, and will continue to be, an incredibly special place for my family and me."

"On behalf of the University of Pittsburgh, I'd like to thank Coach Wannstedt for his passionate and committed service the past six years," Pederson said. "This has never been just a job for Dave. He is wholeheartedly committed to Pitt and its people. We are greatly appreciative of his efforts to build a strong program on and off the field."

Wannstedt was named the 34th head coach in Pitt football history on December 23, 2004. He has compiled a 42-31 record over six seasons. The highlights of his tenure include:

  • Three consecutive postseason berths, including this year's BBVA Compass Bowl. The Panthers also advanced to the 2008 Sun Bowl and 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl, where they defeated North Carolina, 19-17.

  • A 10-3 record in 2009, the program's winningest season since 1981. Pitt's 10 victories secured a final national ranking of No. 15 in both polls, the Panthers' highest final listing since 1982.

  • A 26-12 record from 2008-10, the program's most successful three-year stretch since the 1981-83 seasons.

  • One of the most celebrated victories in school history -- a 13-9 upset of West Virginia in Morgantown on December 1, 2007. The Panthers knocked off the Mountaineers, who were ranked No. 1 in the USA Today coaches' poll and on the cusp of playing in the BCS title game.

  • Four first-team All-Americans, including defensive end Jabaal Sheard (2010), tight end Dorin Dickerson (2009), linebacker Scott McKillop (2008) and linebacker H.B. Blades (2006).

  • Six Big East Player-of-the-Year awards since 2006. The honorees under Wannstedt include running back Dion Lewis (Offensive and Rookie, 2009), defensive end Greg Romeus (Co-Defensive, 2009), defensive tackle Mick Williams (Co-Defensive, 2009), linebacker Scott McKillop (Defensive, 2008), running back LeSean McCoy (Rookie, 2007) and linebacker H.B. Blades (Defensive, 2006).

  • An Academic All-American and Big East Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year in placekicker Conor Lee (2008).

  • Fourteen NFL Draft selections, including first-round picks in cornerback Darrelle Revis (New York Jets, 2007) and offensive tackle Jeff Otah (Carolina Panthers, 2008).

Pederson said a national search for a successor will begin immediately.


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