Panther-lair - Narduzzi to hire Chris Beatty as new WR coach
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Narduzzi to hire Chris Beatty as new WR coach

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Pat Narduzzi is set to complete his coaching staff this week with the hiring of Chris Beatty as receivers coach, multiple sources told

An announcement on Beatty’s hiring is expected this week.

According to multiples sources, Narduzzi interviewed Beatty and UMass receivers coach Leonard Hankerson last week before offering the position to Beatty.

Beatty, 45, was most recently the receivers coach at Maryland on DJ Durkin’s staff, but he was not retained when Mike Locksley was hired this offseason. Beatty joined the Terrapins in 2016; a year later, he added co-offensive coordinator and associate head coach to his titles.

Before joining the staff at Maryland, Beatty worked at a variety of schools. He was the running backs coach and assistant head coach at Virginia in 2015. Prior to that he coached receivers for two years at Wisconsin. He was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Illinois in 2012, when he was on the same staff as current Pitt tight ends coach Tim Salem.

Beatty also worked at Vanderbilt (wide receivers and recruiting coordinator in 2011) and West Virginia (running backs/slot receivers from 2008-10).

In his playing days, Beatty was a receiver at East Tennessee State and also played two years of professional football in the Canadian Football League.

As a coach, Beatty has developed a strong reputation both as a coach and as a recruiter. At Pitt, he will replace Kevin Sherman, who coached the receivers for four years as a member of the original coaching staff that joined the Panthers when Narduzzi was hired prior to the 2015 season.

Beatty is the second coach to join Narduzzi’s staff this offseason. Earlier this month, he hired former UMass head coach Mark Whipple to serve as offensive coordinator. Whipple and Beatty will be charged with rejuvenating a passing game that was one of the least productive in the nation.

In 2018, Pitt averaged 140.8 passing yards per game and ranked No. 120 nationally - out of 129 teams - in that stat category. The Panthers’ leading receiver was Rafael Araujo-Lopes, who caught 37 passes for just 380 yards, the lowest yardage by a Pitt leading receiver since 1993 when running back Curtis Martin paced the Panthers with 33 catches for 249 yards.

Araujo-Lopes will graduate this offseason, but Pitt does return Maurice Ffrench, who scored 10 total touchdowns and had 515 yards on 35 receptions, and Taysir Mack, who caught 25 passes for a team-leading 557 yards.