It came as little surprise this week when Paul Chyrst was introduced as the next head football coach at Wisconsin, but another development on Wednesday came as more of a surprise. In what was described as a mutual agreement, Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson will be stepping down.
“Since arriving at the University in August, I have greatly appreciated my collaborations with Steve,” Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said in a statment. “Our athletic department has advanced in many significant ways under his leadership. Steve was an instrumental figure in Pitt’s move to the Atlantic Coast Conference and thanks to his efforts our athletic facilities, especially the Petersen Events Center, rival any in the country. I want to thank him for his many important contributions to Pitt and his unwavering commitment to our student-athletes.”
This football coaching search will be the school’s fourth in five years.
“With major decisions to be made about the future of football, I thought it was in the best interest of the University of Pittsburgh for Chancellor Gallagher to assemble his own team,” Pederson said. “I am a Pitt and City of Pittsburgh fan, and want what is best for everyone moving into the future. I will miss the daily interaction with our great staff, coaches and student-athletes, but will enjoy watching them accomplish great things. To our friends and supporters, thank you for making this a great home for our family.”
Vice Chancellor for Research Conduct and Compliance Dr. Randy P. Juhl will serve as the school’s interim athletic director. In addition, offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph was named the interim football coach for the Armed Forces Bowl on Jan. 2.