Well, there were rumors that a Miami-area football coach could be leaving for a Pennsylvania school earlier this year, but Canes coach Al Golden squashed those Penn State rumors with a contract extension. Turns out those rumors may have been concentrating on the wrong Miami coach and Pennsylvania school.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette now reports that Florida International Golden Panthers coach Mario Cristobal is now the leading candidate to become the next head coach of the University of Pittsburgh non-Golden Panthers.
The paper says Cristobal interviewed at Pitt last week, and reportedly impressed the school. Though, the deal is far from done. Cristobal doesn't want any official offer to be made until after FIU plays in the very prestigious and seriously named Beef O'Brady Bowl tonight.
There also appears to be some question over whether Cristobal, a Miami native and University of Miami grad, wants to leave Miami. Though, the Pitt job would reportedly come with three times the salary as the FIU gig. Pitt's upcoming move to the ACC, however, would mean that the Panther's would be once again competing regularly with Cristobal's alma mater.
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Pitt is without a head coach for the second time in two season. Former Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt was fired in 2010, and Todd Graham resigned to take the job at Arizona State.
Cristobal's name has frequently surfaced during bigger program's head coaching searches over the past two years. He's taken the Golden Panthers to two bowl games, a first for the school, in his past two seasons. He may not look like quite a promising mid-major coach as Al Golden did at Temple before he came to Miami, but it seemed like only a matter of time until someone plucks him from FIU.