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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 01/ 8/2011

Virginia Tech's Bud Foster interviews for Pittsburgh coaching job

By Mark Giannotto

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster interviewed for the vacant head coaching position at Pittsburgh on Friday, according to the Hokies' secondary coach, Torrian Gray. Gray said Foster informed his defensive staff this week that the Panthers had expressed interest and he would be taking an interview there.

"He made me aware that they had contacted him. I kind of let Bud do his thing there, and he'll tell me as he sees fit," Gray said. "I just know that he went on the interview. Really, I didn't hear it from Bud. Another coach made me aware of it."

Gray said Foster will not be joining the majority of the Hokies' coaching staff at the American Football Coaches Association Convention, which begins Sunday in Dallas.

Foster did not immediately return a phone call or text message seeking comment. The interview was first reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Foster was contacted about the Vanderbilt opening last month, but chose to go on a recruiting trip for Virginia Tech instead of interview with the Commodores' search committee. He said at the time that he thought his situation as Hokies defensive coordinator was perhaps better than being a head coach at a school fighting an uphill battle competing in the SEC.

On top of a base salary of approximately $400,000, Foster's latest contract extension guarantees him a deferred compensation package of $800,000 if he stays at Virginia Tech through the 2014 season or if Coach Frank Beamer resigns before the 2014 season. The deal makes him one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the country.

Pittsburgh is in its second round of interviews after former Coach Dave Wannstadt resigned at the end of the regular season. The Panthers originally hired former Miami (Ohio) Coach Michael Haywood on Dec. 15, but fired him on Jan. 1 after he was arrested on charges of domestic battery.

"We have created a small team who will assist in the initial interview process," Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson told reporters this week. "We are meeting potential candidates in a first round, then we will identify a smaller number of candidates from that poll who will be brought to campus to participate in further interviews with a group that includes the chancellor [Mark Nordenberg].

"We want to move swiftly, but we have no timeline for completion of the process and we want to make sure we find the right person to lead this program but do so in a timely manner."

The Post-Gazette reports that Tulsa's Todd Graham had a second interview with Pittsburgh officials Friday. Other candidates include Penn State assistant Tom Bradley, Alabama assistant head coach Sal Sunseri, Stanford assistant head coach Greg Roman and Florida defensive coordinator Teryl Austin.

We'll provide more details as they come out.

By Mark Giannotto  | January 8, 2011; 12:45 PM ET
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Next: Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams declares for the NFL draft


I'd rather see Foster stay at Virginia Tech -- he's one of the best aspects of the program there, and appears to have had a great recruiting year there.

Wouldn't it be better if Stinespring looked for a head coach job?

Posted by: postfan1 | January 8, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I hate to say it, but this would be a perfect job for Bud. Pitt wasn't really that bad, even for the Big Least, kinda Charlie Brown Christmas Tree-messy but ok. A defensive guru with quasi regional ties will bring a few wins; maybe enough to win the Big East. If he does, he can do the UConn thing and step up to a bigger stage without being the head coach at some podunk D-2 school to prove his worht. The he get the ACC Clemson slot and gets to go head to head with Frank every year.

Just a prediction.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | January 8, 2011 6:38 PM | Report abuse

I hope he gets the job - he'd be a great fit, and it would get him out of the state and the ACC!

Posted by: kemp13 | January 9, 2011 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Kemp13: Spoken like a Hoo!

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | January 9, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

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