In what hopes to be the final time he has to add assistant coaches to his staff, Pitt head coach Paul Chryst made three staff appointments on Monday.
Chryst announced Desmond Robinson as his running backs coach, Brooks Bollinger as quarterbacks coach and Dann Kabala as player personnel director.
All three hires have ties to Chryst or to Pittsburgh. Robinson was a linebacker and defensive end for the Panthers from 1974-78. He also served as a part-time assistant in 1981. Following that, he embarked on a coaching career that included stops at Notre Dame, West Virginia, Syracuse, Tulane, Dartmouth and Connecticut.
Some of the notables under Robinson include Amos Zereoue at West Virginia, who earned Big East Rooke of the Year honors in 1996. He also coached Autry Denson at Notre Dame, who finished his career as the school's all-time leading rusher. He also coached Damien Rhodes at Syracuse, who finished his career as one of the school's top ten leading rushers. Robinson and Chryst were on the same staff in Morgantown for the 1989 and 1990 seasons.
"Desmond's Pitt ties and extensive coaching experience are going to be invaluable to our program on and off the field," said Chryst. "He is an excellent teacher of the game and our running backs will greatly benefit from his guidance."
Bollinger is a former Wisconsin quarterback, starting four years for the Badgers, leading them to a Rose Bowl victory over Stanford in 2000. He was drafted by the New York Jets in 2003, spending three years with the Jets. He also spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys.
Bollinger comes to Pitt after one year as a high school head coach at Hill Murray High School in Minnesota. He guided Hill Murray to a 9-3 record and its first playoff appearance in 24 years.
"Brooks knows firsthand the mental and physical preparation needed for successful quarterback play," Chryst said. "He was a consummate leader for us at Wisconsin before going on to pro football, and those experiences are going to be assets for our players and staff."
Kabala, a graduate of nearby Fox Chapel High School, was a graduate assistant at Pitt from 2005-07. He also spent time at Indiana--his alma mater--and with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars. Most recently, Kabala was at Arkansas as an administrative assistant in on-campus recruiting, eligibility and academic support.
"Dann returns to Pitt with outstanding administrative experience that will strengthen our program in so many important areas," Chryst said. "His ties to Pitt and Western Pennsylvania will definitely help him hit the ground running as we get ready to start spring drills."