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Wannstedt not coaching Pitt in bowl

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Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will coach the Panthers in the BBVA Compass Bowl against Kentucky; offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti is expected to accept same position at Rutgers.

Former Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt met with the media today and announced that he would not be coaching the team in it's final game of the season next week in the BBVA Compass Bowl when the Panthers take on Kentucky.

"My loyalty to these players is to have them enjoy this experience and allow them to be the main focus of attention when they travel to Birmingham to get ready for this game," Wannstedt said. "It would be unfair for any part of their experience to be about the head coach and his particular situation."

With offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti expected to accept the same position with Rutgers, defensive coordinator Phil Bennett will lead the team against Kentucky on Jan. 8.

Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson forced Wannstedt to resign last month, but gave him the option of coaching in the bowl game.

“In anticipation of this decision, we talked with Phil Bennett about leading the program as the acting head coach for this bowl game,” Pederson said in a statement. “Phil Bennett has been a head coach, is respected by the players and staff, and will do a fine job leading the Pitt football team in Birmingham.”

Wannstedt, who said he would always be a “Pitt guy,” also said that he had not made up his mind whether or not he was planning to accept an administrative position with the university's athletic department.

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