It’s not often a head football coach changes his or her title days before the season opener, but that’s exactly what University of Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi is doing after the football team received a massive donation. 1997 Pitt graduate, Chris Bickell threw $20 million the Panthers’ way in exchange for naming rights to the head coaching position. Meaning, Pitt’s football team will now be under the direction of the “Chris Bickell ’97 Head Football Coach,” Pat Narduzzi.
The Pitt Football program has received a historic $20 million gift from alumnus Chris Bickell, the largest single donation in Pitt Athletics history.
— Pitt Football (@Pitt_FB) September 2, 2021
Bickell’s $20 million donation is the largest single donation in the history of the university. Per the school’s statement: “The gift will help fund significant capital improvements that will benefit the total Pitt football student-athlete experience, both now and into the future. From the $20 million gift, $10 million will be used immediately to enhance the training, nutrition and learning environment infrastructure.”
The statement continued, detailing the decision to recognize the school’s head coach along with their deep pocketed alum: “In recognition of Bickell’s historic gift, the head football coaching position at Pitt will be named the ‘Chris Bickell ’97 Head Football Coach.’ This is the first named coaching position in the history of Pitt Athletics.”
Bickell, the current CEO of WellHive, is hopeful that his donation will serve as a springboard for others: “I am a proud Pitt Man and it is my honor to give back to this great University. I believe the leadership is in place to take Pitt Athletics and our football program to the next level. I hope my gift inspires others to do their part in making that happen.”
Newly titled Narduzzi and the Panthers open the season Saturday afternoon, when they play host to UMass.
In other news, I’ve decided to offer naming rights to any OutKick alumni who would like to co-author my posts. This sacred internet space can be yours, or partially yours, for considerably less than what Bickell gifted the Panthers. My DMs are open, @OhioAF.