Pitt Hires Former Southern Methodist Coach Phil Bennett

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PITTSBURGH, PA -- Fired SMU football coach Phil Bennett has been
hired today as Pitt's defensive coordinator.

He's a longtime acquaintance of Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt.

Bennett replaces Paul Rhoads, who held the job for eight seasons
under Wannstedt and former coach Walt Harris before leaving last
month for the same job at Auburn.

Pitt was 5-7 last season.

Bennett had an 18-52 record in six seasons at SMU, where he was
dismissed October 28th following a 1-7 start.

Bennett stayed on to finish out a 1-11 season before being
replaced by former Hawaii coach June Jones.

Before SMU, Bennett was defensive coordinator at Kansas State
for three seasons and coached the secondary at Oklahoma. Bennett
also was the defensive coordinator at TCU, LSU, Texas A&M, Purdue
and Iowa State.

During his playing career, Bennett was a defensive end at Texas
A&M.