UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Pitt is holding a news conference later to announce the hiring of Todd Graham as its head football coach, so it would appear Van Pelt is staying put...
Here's a possibility we never considered.
Bucs quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt is being mentioned as a candidate for the head-coaching post at the University of Pittsburgh, his alma mater.
Van Pelt, one of the school's all-time great quarterbacks, just completed his first season with the Bucs and did an admirable job tutoring quarterback Josh Freeman. It was probably unlikely his success with Freeman would go unnoticed, and Pitt is reportedly paying attention.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Tulsa coach Todd Graham is the primary target of the search, but Van Pelt has emerged late in the search and is considered an attractive candidate after speaking with members of the search committee last week.
Here's an excerpt from the story:
One of the all-time great quarterbacks in Pitt history, Van Pelt holds the school's record for career passing yards (11,267) and he also posted two of the best four passing seasons (passing yards) in school history. He threw for 66 touchdown passes.
Perhaps the high point of his career was when he led a 22-point rally in the Panthers' historic comeback from a 31-9 fourth-quarter deficit to force a 31-31 tie against West Virginia in 1989.
This season his work with Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman has drawn rave reviews, and his ties to the school along with his offensive philosophy caught the eyes of some key members of the search committee.
One issue which could arrive with Van Pelt is that he is also a candidate for several open offensive coordinator jobs in the NFL, though he owns property in Armstrong County and most likely would choose Pitt, if offered, over any other job.
Val Pelt is believed to be under contract with the Bucs for the 2011 season, but that agreement would not impact his ability to pursue a college job. Where other NFL jobs are concerned, the Bucs would have to grant permission for him to interview while he is under contract (unless he is offered an interview for a head coaching job).