Rock Hill expected to tap Pittman as offensive coordinator

bbyers@heraldonlineFebruary 22, 2013 

— Northwestern assistant football coach Bubba Pittman is expected to become offensive coordinator at the Trojans’ rival, Rock Hill, for the upcoming season.

“We’ve talked to Bubba several times,” Rock Hill principal Ozzie Ahl said.

The Bearcats’ coach, Joe Montgomery, asked Northwestern coach Kyle Richardson for permission to talk with Pittman immediately after the Trojans’ state championship game in December.

Ahl expects to have Pittman on board as a special education teacher. The plan is for Pittman’s duties to allow Montgomery to have more time with the defense and to oversee the entire program.

The Bearcats were 3-8 in 2012 and missed the playoffs.

Going to Rock Hill would be a homecoming for Pittman, who played quarterback for the Bearcats under former coach Jim Ringer.

At Northwestern, Pittman coached receivers in the Trojans’ “Air Raid” offense. During his six seasons, the Trojans advanced to the state championship game four times, winning the title in 2010.

Pittman coached Cordarrelle Patterson, who starred at Tennessee in 2012 and is expected to be picked in the early rounds of this year’s NFL draft. He also coached Robert Joseph, who set a state record for most catches in a game with 22 against Gaffney in 2009.

Pittman could not be reached for comment.

His potential move was first reported last month in a news release issued by Richardson. The release also said Pittman would become the Bearcats’ “head coach in waiting.”

“This is a great opportunity and Bubba has my full support,” Richardson said in the news release.

“My advice to him was anytime you get a chance to go back to your alma mater and become the head coach, you have to jump at the opportunity. Bubba has made it known to me for years he wanted to be a head coach, and we have worked together to prepare him for this day.

“I am very excited to see him accomplish this goal, even though we hate to lose him.”

Richardson said this week that he stood by the release. “Bubba Pittman is a good hire for them and we wish him nothing but the best.”

Ahl said Montgomery will remain the Bearcats’ coach at least through the end of the 2013 season and until he deems it’s time to step down.

“Obviously, I plan to be coaching as long as I can,” Montgomery said. “I go to work every day and enjoy it.

“For 41 years I’ve coached one year at a time. I am not stepping down because I’m still enjoying football. We want to work hard, and we will start winning like we did.”

Becky Partlow, the Rock Hill school district’s director of personnel, said the district doesn’t have a “coach in waiting” position.

The district is in the middle of its annual process of considering contracts for the next school year.

Teachers can request to transfer to another school if it has an opening in his or her teaching field.

Contracts will be issued on April 15 and must be returned by April 25.

Ahl expects Pittman’s request to be granted.

“There is no such thing as a coach in waiting,” Ahl said. “It’s not on the contracts and it’s not a promise we can make.

“When a job with the high profile of a head football coach comes open, it has to be advertised.

“We did talk with Bubba about his opportunities, and I believe he would be a good candidate for the job, as will many other candidates.”

Barry Byers: 803-329-4099

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