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February 27, 2012

Chryst finalizes coaching staff

Pitt's coaching staff is finally complete, as Paul Chryst announced on Monday that Brooks Bollinger will serve as quarterbacks coach and Desmond Robinson will be running backs coach.

Bollinger replaces Joe Rudolph as quarterbacks coach; Rudolph moved to offensive coordinator and tight ends coach after Bob Bostad left Pitt for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Robinson replaces Eddie Faulkner, who left to coach tight ends at Wisconsin.

Robinson's appointment to the staff represents a return. A 1978 Pitt graduate, Robinson was a linebacker and defensive end from 1974-77, including the Panthers' 1976 national championship team. He then coached defensive backs at Pitt in 1978 before embarking on a 30-year coaching career.

"Desmond's Pitt ties and extensive coaching experience are going to be invaluable to our program on and off the field," Chryst said in a press release. "He is an excellent teacher of the game and our running backs will greatly benefit from his guidance."

Robinson's collegiate coaching career included stops at West Virginia, Notre Dame, Connecticut, and Syracuse. He also spent a year coaching in NFL Europe and was head coach of the Westminster School, a Connecticut prep school, for two years.

Among the running backs mentored by Robinson are Amos Zeroue (WVU), Autry Denson (Notre Dame), and Damien Rhodes (Syracuse). He worked with Chryst at West Virginia in 1989 and 1990.

Bollinger and Chryst have a relationship from Bollinger's days as a quarterback at Wisconsin. After serving as a four-year starter with the Badgers, Bollinger spent eight years in professional football, with six in the NFL and two in the UFL.

After his playing career ended, Bollinger coached Hill Murray High School last year and guided the school to its first playoff berth in 24 years.

"Brooks knows firsthand the mental and physical preparation needed for successful quarterback play," Chryst said. "He was a consummate leader for us at Wisconsin before going on to pro football, and those experiences are going to be assets for our players and staff."

Additionally, Chryst hired Dann Kabala to serve as player personnel director. Kabala was at Pitt from 2005-07 as a football graduate assistant but has spent the last four years at the University of Arkansas where he worked specifically on the Razorbacks' on-campus recruiting and academic support.

"Dann returns to Pitt with outstanding administrative experience that will strengthen our program in so many important areas," Chryst said. "His ties to Pitt and Western Pennsylvania will definitely help him hit the ground running as we get ready to start spring drills."

The hires finalize Chryst's staff at Pitt.

Joe Rudolph - Offensive coordinator/tight ends
Dave Huxtable - Defensive coordinator
Brooks Bollinger - Quarterbacks
Inoke Breckterfield - Defensive line
Bobby Engram - Wide receivers
Chris Haering - Linebackers
Matt House - Defensive backs
Jim Hueber - Offensive line
Desmond Robinson - Running backs







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