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Pitt's first week of football spring practice

Pitt Football Team warming up in first week of spring practice
Pitt Football Team warming up in first week of spring practice
Steve Flinn

Individual drills headlined Pitt's first week of football spring session. The Panthers return eight starters on offense but only five on defense. They also lose all-American defensive lineman Aaron Donald. Redshirt sophomore Chad Voytik takes over as the starting quarterback by default. He has been joined by redshirt junior backup Trey Anderson in the quarterback drills.

Other notable changes include pass-catching tight end Manasseh Garner moving to wide receiver, and defensive end Bryan Murphy and fullback Mark Giubilato leaving their final year of eligibility behind to focus on graduating.

Several changes took place with the Panther staff in the off-season. Head coach Paul Chryst is now coaching the quarterbacks, as former quarterback coach Brooks Bollinger retired from coaching. Greg Lewis took over as wide receiver coach, replacing Bobby Engram, who is now the wide receiver coach of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens.

Also, former assistant strength and conditioning coach Ross Kolodziej was promoted to strength and conditioning coach.

Linebacker coach Chris Haering is now the special teams coordinator too. Troy Douglas took over as the secondary coach, a position vacated last year when former secondary coach Matt House was promoted to defensive coordinator. John Settle was hired to coach the running backs after Desmond Robinson was moved from running backs coach to recruiting coordinator last year, and was not retained for this season.

The Panthers' spring session will continue through mid-April with the last practice being on Sunday, April 13. The team decided not to schedule a formal spring game to end this year's spring practice season.

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