Groundhog Day: Pitt Football Edition

Do you think Pitt fans wish they had a do-over? Surely, if given the chance to do it all again, they certainly wouldn’t hire Dave Wannstedt. Surely. They might not exactly choose to hold on to Walt Harris, but there had to have been better options. Like maybe Bo Pelini, Sal Sunseri, or Trudy from Facts of Life. Anybody but Dave, right?

Well, today is their lucky day. I have found an alternate universe where Dave Wannstedt was NOT hired as Pitt’s football Czar of Recruiting Top 25 Classes. Examine this article, originally written December 16, 2004:

Former Miami Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt on Thursday morning withdrew his name from consideration for the job opening at the University of Pittsburgh, his alma mater, saying the timing was not right for such an important decision.

“It’s just not the right time for me and my family and such a key career decision,” said Wannstedt, who spoke Thursday morning to Pitt athletic director Jeff Long. “I love the city and I love that school, and I know they are going to make an excellent hire, and the program will continue to move forward.

See, what a wonderful world that would have been for Pitt fans. Sure, at the time I’m sure they were bummed about missing out on the great, fantastic, genius, Rockne-esque figure that was Dave Wannstedt. But, as men from the future with knowledge of the past, we know that this ultimately would have been the best news possible.

Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly last. Exactly a week later, Wannstedt was hired as Pitt’s football coach:

Dave Wannstedt apparently had a change of heart. ESPN is reporting that Wannstedt has accepted the coaching job at Pittsburgh, his alma mater, after announcing last week that he was not interested in the position.

Here’s the kicker for Pitt fans. The former quote, the one that announced Wannstedt was NOT taking the job at Pitt — remember that? Well, I left off a piece of that quote. It’s this small little sentence that makes me warm and fuzzy as a Mountaineer:

I’m just going to take some time and think about what else might be out there for me.

Hilarious. Dave Wannstedt, a washed-up NFL coach with a losing record all-time, wanted to play the field a little bit more. He was too good for the Pitt Panthers. So good that he took a week to look around, found out nothing was there, and came crawling back to his alma mater.

I’m glad he did, too.

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