Pitt Coaches Up For Awards

Three members of the Pitt football staff have been selected finalists for the FootballScoop.com "Coaches of the Year'' awards, including offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, offensive line coach Tony Wise and director of football operations Chris LaSala.

The Pittsburgh coaches were nominated by their professional peers for these honors.

Cignetti, in his first year as Pitt's offensive coordinator, has orchestrated a Pitt attack that averages 33.17 points per game. It is the fourth-highest scoring average in school history. The Panthers rank in the top two in the Big East in nearly every major offensive category.

Wise, a 36-year coaching veteran, molded an offensive line that produced a 1,600-yard rusher this year in freshman tailback Dion Lewis. The Panthers rank first in the Big East in rushing offense (184.6 yards per game) and second in fewest sacks allowed (13 total).

LaSala, an assistant athletic director at Pitt who has overseen the Panthers' football operations since 1997, has long been recognized as one of the country's finest at his position. He will be coordinating his eighth Pitt bowl trip, as the Panthers will participate in the 2009 Meineke Car Care Bowl Dec. 26.

A panel of current and former coaches, along with past recipients of the awards, evaluate the finalists and select the winners. Internet voting will also factor into the selection of the winners, though the panel has the final decision on the awards.

Voting takes place through Dec. 13. Winners will be announced beginning Dec. 14.

For more information, or to vote, visit www.footballscoop.com.

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