Pittsburgh Panthers football

Pittsburgh Panthers football

TeamName = Pittsburgh Panthers

ImageSize = 150px
HeadCoachDisplay = Dave Wannstedt
HeadCoachLink = Dave Wannstedt
HeadCoachYear = 4th
HCWins = 17
HCLosses = 15
HCTies =
OtherStaff = Matt Cavanaugh (Off Coord)
Phil Bennett (Def Coord)
Stadium = Heinz Field
StadiumBuilt = 2001
StadCapacity = 65,050
StadSurface = Grass
Location = Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
League = NCAA Division I
ConferenceDisplay = Big East (1991–Present)
ConferenceLink = Big East Conference
FirstYear = 1889
PastAffiliations = Independent (1889–1990)
AthlDirectorDisp = Steve Pederson
AthlDirectorLink = Steve Pederson
WebsiteName = PittsburghPanthers.com
WebsiteURL = http://pittsburghpanthers.com
ATWins = 649
ATLosses = 472
ATTies = 41
ATPercentage = .579
BowlWins = 10
BowlLosses = 14
BowlTies =
NatlTitles = 9 claimed, 2 AP
ConfTitles = 1
Heismans = 1
AllAmericans = 87 (1st team), 49 Consensus
Color1 = Blue
Color1Hex = 091C44
Color2 = Gold
Color2Hex = CEC499
FightSong = Hail to Pitt and Pitt Victory Song
MascotDisplay = Panther
MascotLink = Panthers of Pittsburgh
MarchingBand = University of Pittsburgh Varsity Marching Band
PagFreeLabel = Outfitter
PagFreeValue = Adidas
PagFreeLabel2 = Major Rivals
PagFreeValue2 = West Virginia (Backyard Brawl)
Penn State (Pennsylvania Classic)
Notre Dame
Cincinnati (River City Rivalry)
The Pittsburgh Panthers football teams, traditionally the most popular sport at the University of Pittsburgh, have represented the University in competition since 1889. The Panthers teams have been associated with many of prominent names in college football history, including both players and coaches. The Panthers were historically one of the dominant teams in the first half of the 20th century, being selected as a national champion 14 times between 1910 and 1938.



The University of Pittsburgh football team has boasted some of the most recognizable names in college football history, such as coaches Glenn "Pop" Warner, Jock Sutherland, and Johnny Majors, who led the Panthers to numerous national championships. NFL coach Jimmy Johnson served as an assistant to Jackie Sherrill.

Famous players for the Panthers have included such individuals as Tony Dorsett, Mike Ditka, Chris Doleman, Jimbo Covert, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward, Tony Siragusa, Rickey Jackson, Mark May, Curtis Martin, Russ Grimm, and Dan Marino.

Current NFL players with Pitt ties include Darrelle Revis (New York Jets), Shawntae Spencer (San Francisco 49ers), Antonio Bryant (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Andy Lee (San Francisco 49ers), Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona Cardinals), Gerald Hayes (Arizona Cardinals), Nick Goings (Carolina Panthers), Darnell Dinkins (Cleveland Browns), Kris Wilson (Philadelphia Eagles), Hank Poteat (New York Jets), Torrie Cox (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Rob Petitti (St. Louis Rams), Lousaka Polite (Chicago Bears), Ruben Brown (Chicago Bears), H. B. Blades (Washington Redskins) Clint Session (Indianapolis Colts), Tyler Palko (New Orleans Saints), Kennard Cox (Buffalo Bills), Mike McGlynn (Philadelphia Eagles), and Jeff Otah (Carolina Panthers) .

The team garnered attention when Bobby Grier became the first African-American player to break the bowl game color-barrier in the 1956 Sugar Bowl. [ [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/01/sports/ncaafootball/01grier.html?ex=1293771600&en=8a6a5b2ca5956881&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss Grier Integrated a Game] ]


The team first played at Recreation Park. Beginning in 1900, the Panthers played their games at Exposition Park on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, sharing the stadium with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In 1909 the Panthers, along with the Pirates, moved to Forbes Field, located on campus, where they played until 1924. In 1925, Pitt Stadium was completed on the opposite end of the campus, giving the Panthers their first and only private stadium. Pitt Stadium was home for the Panthers although the Steelers also used it for home games in the mid-1960s. Following the demolition of Pitt Stadium in 1999, the Panthers moved to Three Rivers Stadium, again on the North Shore, where the Pirates and Steelers had played since 1970. A handful of nationally televised Pitt Panther football games from the late 1970s to 1999 were played as home games not at Pitt Stadium but at Three Rivers with its more modern facilities.

Heinz Field opened in 2001, where the Panthers currently play as a co-tenet with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Panthers' practice facility is the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center which is also shared with the Steelers.


*Student organizations, carrying standards, form a tunnel for the football players to run through as the enter the football field from the locker room. Originally, this long standing tradition involved only Pitt fraternities and sororities. The tradition was briefly lost following the 1999 season when Pitt's football program transitioned from playing in Pitt Stadium to Three Rivers Stadium in 2000 followed by Heinz Field in 2001. The tradition was resurrected beginning with the 2008 football season. [ [http://pittsburghpanthers.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/GDC_Events.html Upcoming events: Pitt Students - Make Your Heinz Field Standard/Claim Your Grill Night (Aug 27), Pittsburghpanthers.com; accessdate 2008-08-24] ]
*The Panthers Prowl begins two hours before kickoff and allows fans to meet the team as they make their way into Heinz Field outside Gate A. Originally, this tradition began as players made their way into Pitt Stadium. [http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/FootballFanGuide08.pdf 2008 Panther Football Fan Guide, pg. 2, ISP Sports; accessdate=2008-08-24] ] [http://www.chronicle.pitt.edu/media/pcc010820/newhome.html Pitt Traditions Part of Debut Season at New Heinz Field; Pitt Campaign Chronicle; August 20/27, 2001, accessdate=2008-08-24] ]
*The Pitt Band engages in the March to Victory from Tony Dorsett Drive down General Robinson Street ending at the stage on Art Rooney Avenue. This tradition dates back to before the move to Heinz Field when the Pitt Band would march throughout the streets of Oakland campus before arriving at Pitt Stadium.
*Following touchdowns, the horns of the Gateway Clipper riverboat fleet, which cruises just outside Heinz Field, sound.
*When the Pitt offense moves into the 20 yard line, two large, motorized Heinz ketchup bottles flanking either side of the scoreboard tilt over and beginning to pour out their electronic contents onto the JumboTron's screen signifying the team's move into the "red zone". [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2001_Oct_29/ai_79532111 Giant Heinz Ketchup Bottles Make Their NFL Debut During Steelers-Titans Game; Monday Night Football Shines at Heinz Field, Business Wire, BNET Business Network, Oct 29, 2001; accesscate=2008-08-24] ]
*The upper section of the Cathedral of Learning is illuminated "gold" after a football team victory, as opposed to the everyday white spotlights.
*Starting with the Buffalo game in 2008, the jumbotron has lead the crowd in a "Let's Go Pitt!" version of Sweet Caroline between the 3rd and 4th quarter.


The University of Pittsburgh has long-standing rivalries with several teams. Currently, Pitt's fiercest and primary rivalry is the Backyard Brawl which is played annually against fellow Big East Conference member the West Virginia. The Brawl, played 100 times, is one of the oldest and most played rivalries in college football. Prior to the 2001 football season, Pitt's most heated and longest standing rival had been intrastate foe Penn State. Sometimes referred to as the Pennsylvania Classic, this game has been on hiatus since 2000 following a rash of disputes between the two schools. Other long-standing rivals include the Notre Dame and Syracuse. More recently, the River City Rivalry was established when the Cincinnati Bearcats entered the Big East.

tudent section

During the late 1990s, athletic director Steve Pederson instituted a rebranding of the Pitt Stadium student section in an attempt to bolster enthusiasm and unity by emphasizing the 12th man concept. The stadium was repainted with the student section changed to section "12" and a large inflatable jersey bearing number 12 was placed near the section. Upon the move the Heinz Field, the athletic department, in collaboration with their sideline apparel outfitter at the time Aéropostale, created the Aero-Zone. The Aero-Zone served as an exclusive on-field seating section for Pitt students where the first 200 students who lined up for the section before the game with student were admitted if they possessed tickets and proper identification. [Citation
last =Masny
first = Daniel
year = 2001
title = Coach Harris calls on the 12th man
newspaper = The Pitt News
date = 2001-08-29
url = http://media.www.pittnews.com/media/storage/paper879/news/2001/08/29/News/Coach.Harris.Calls.On.The.12th.Man-1793508.shtml | accessdate=2008-04-20
] The Aero-Zone failed to catch sustained interest and was eventually disappeared.

The current official Pitt football student fan club and cheering section, the Panther Pitt, was founded in 2003 by Pitt students Robin Frank and Julie Brennan to attempt to organize an Oakland Zoo-like atmosphere at Heinz Field for football games. The Panther Pitt helped in coordinating student ticking policies with the athletic department and the Oakland Zoo. [cite web
title = Student Organization Resource Center: Panther Pitt
publisher = University of Pittsburgh Office of Student Life
date = 2008-03-06
url = http://www.sorc.pitt.edu/orgSearch.asp?ID=782&search=name&nameSearch=Panther
accessdate = 2008-04-19
] [Citation
last =Schwab
first = Nikki
year = 2003
title = Panther Pitt colors games blue and gold with towels
newspaper = The Pitt News
date = 2003-10-24
url = http://media.www.pittnews.com/media/storage/paper879/news/2003/10/24/News/Panther.Pitt.Colors.Games.Blue.And.Gold.With.Towels-1791218.shtml | accessdate=2008-04-20
] In 2006, the Panther Pitt and the Pitt Student Government Board originated the concept of "Code Blue" in which students wear blue t-shirts to the game to match the home blue uniforms of the Pitt football team. [ [http://pittnews.com/2.2135/1.239260 Thomas, Dave; Panthers face must-win game against Mountaineers; Pitt News, Nov. 15, 2006; accessdate=2008-08-25] ] [ [http://www.pittnews.com/2.2136/1.235010 EDITORIAL - Priestas best choice for SGB president, The Pitt News, Nov. 7, 2007; accessdate=2008-08-25] ] Commonly worn by students attending football games, the back of "Code-Blue" t-shirts typically include the line "Alle-genee-genac-genac" from the Official University Yell. However, mixed student support for the Panther Pitt and the introduction of these shirts has lead to some confusion regarding the actual student sectionFact|date=August 2008 since, unlike the Oakland Zoo which has matching "Oakland Zoo" t-shirts, no official "Code-Blue" organization exists. Other groups are also attempting to create a more unified student section for football. [ [http://thecatbasket.blogspot.com/ Cat Basket, Blogspot.com, accessdate=2008-08-25] ]

National championships

The University of Pittsburgh officially claims nine National Championships for the Panthers football team: 4 unanimous, (1916, 1918, 1937, and 1976) and 5 shared titles (1915, 1929, 1931, 1934, 1936).

The University bases its claim for the first 8 national championships on a study conducted in 1970 by Sports Illustrated [ [http://graphics.fansonly.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/06guide-pantherhistory.pdf Pitt Panthers media guide] ] . These championships, together with its unanimous championship of 1976, are the basis for the university's claim of 9 national championship seasons.

Furthermore, in 8 additional years at least one recognized selector of national championships has declared Pitt as its National Champion. In total, Pitt has been recognized as the National Champion by at least one selector in a total of 17 different seasons

Note: The table lists all known National Championship selections for the University of Pittsburgh. The list of national championship selecting organizations choosing Pitt for any particular year is not necessarily comprehensive. For more information see [http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/bigeast/pittsburgh/all_national_champs.php College Football Data Warehouse Total National Championships] Additional notations include the following::Pitt: National Championship selections are officially recognized by the University [ [http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/pitt/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/06guide-pantherhistory.pdf 2007 Pitt Football Media Guide, p176] ] :NCAA: Selection as National Champions by organizations designated as "Major Selectors" in the offiical NCAA football records book [ [http://www.ncaa.org/library/records/football/football_records_book/2007/2007_d1_football_records_book.pdf Official 2007 NCAA Division 1 Records Book, p.74] ] :CFBDW: Designation as "CFBDW Recognized National Champions" [ [http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/national_championships/nchamps_team_results.php?team=2581 CFBDW Recognized National Champions] ] according to [http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com College Football Data Warehouse] . {| class="toccolours collapsible" width=100%
-! colspan=11 style="background:#002b5e; color: #cdb87c;" | David Hart (1966-1968)
- align="center" bgcolor="#dddddd"
Year || Wins || Losses || Ties || Highest rank
Final rank || Bowl || Recognition || NFL Draftees || All-Americans
- align="center" bgcolor="#f0f0f0"
1968 || 1 || 9 || 0 || NR || || || 1
|| 0
- align="center"
1967 || 1 || 9 || 0 || NR || || || 2
|| 0
- align="center" bgcolor="#f0f0f0"
1966 || 1 || 9 || 0 || NR || || || 0
|| 0 {| class="toccolours collapsible" width=100% align="center"
-! colspan=4 style="background:#002b5e; color: #cdb87c;" | Edgar Wingard (1906)
- align="center" bgcolor="#dddddd"
Year || Wins || Losses || Ties
- align="center" bgcolor="#f0f0f0"
1906 || 4 || 6 || 0 {| class="toccolours collapsible" width=100% align="center"
-! colspan=4 style="background:#002b5e; color: #cdb87c;" | J.P. Linn (1895)
- align="center" bgcolor="#dddddd"
Year || Wins || Losses || Ties
- align="center" bgcolor="#f0f0f0"
1895 || 1 || 6 || 0

References and Notes

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