PITTSBURGH -- Paul Rhoads, the defensive coordinator at Pitt
for eight seasons and a finalist for the head coaching job in 2004,
is leaving to take the same job at Auburn.
Rhoads informed Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt of his decision
Wednesday night. The Panthers will immediately begin seeking his
replacement, with defensive line coach Greg Gattuso a possible
candidate. Gattuso is the former Duquesne coach.
Rhoads replaces Will Muschamp, who was hired as the defensive
coordinator at Texas.
Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville first offered the 40-year-old
Rhoads the defensive coordinator's job in 2002, but Pitt kept him
by giving him a large raise and a longer contract. Rhoads was
retained in 2004 by coach Dave Wannstedt after former coach Walt
Harris, who knew he wouldn't get a new contract at Pitt, left for
In addition to being the defensive coordinator, Rhoads coached
Pitt's defensive backs for seven years, coaching players such as
cornerback Darrelle Revis, a New York Jets first-round draft pick
Last season, Rhoads switched to coaching the linebackers, where
Scott McKillop was the nation's leading tackler and a third-team
Rhoads is leaving Pitt after one of the best games ever played
by a Panthers defense, the 13-9 upset of then-No. 2 West Virginia
on Dec. 1. The Panthers held West Virginia to 183 yards, or nearly
292 yards below their average.