Print and Go Back ESPN.com: College Football [Print without images]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Wannstedt extended two years

By Brian Bennett
ESPN.com

Saying that Pittsburgh is his final coaching stop, Dave Wannstedt agreed to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday that will keep him with the Panthers until the end of the 2014 season.

Wannstedt, who is entering his sixth year, has gone 19-7 the last two seasons after winning 16 of 35 games in his first three years at Pitt.

"With the last couple of years we've had, in most cases coaches would be out there shopping their name around and exploring other jobs," Wannstedt said. "People here know that's not what I'm about. They know this is my last job. I'm totally committed to this city and this university."

Athletic director Steve Pederson said the school is committed to Wannstedt.

"We have always believed that when you have the right person, you should give them the time and support to accomplish all the goals they have for our program," Pederson said.

Wannstedt is a 1974 graduate of Pittsburgh who was a head coach in the NFL with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins before returning to his alma mater. He appeared to be on the hot seat in his third year at the school after a 4-7 start. But the week before the final game of the season, he was given a contract extension, and the Panthers then went out and beat No. 2 West Virginia 13-9 in Morgantown.

"We were at a crossroads," Wannstedt said. "The university had to make a decision then of do we continue on this course or not. They made that commitment three years ago and gave us an opportunity to take advantage of it."

Pitt won 10 games in 2009 and played for the Big East title in the final week of the regular season, losing to Cincinnati 45-44. Many believe the Panthers are the favorite to win the conference title this year.

"We're awfully close," Wannstedt said.

Brian Bennett covers Big East football for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.