Fort Valley State hopes the next time its new head football coach is on the same site, he is under sunny skies and next to a new multimillion dollar stadium.
So does Donald Pittman.
Pittman was introduced Wednesday afternoon as FVSU's newest coach at a news conference in the aging parking lot next to the former home and future home of Wildcat Stadium.
Pittman actually arrived in Fort Valley early in the morning for what he thought was simply another interview, this time just with President Larry Rivers.
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It was simply the final conversation Rivers needed to make the decision. The offer was made and accepted not long before the news conference.
“I haven’t slept the last three or four days,” said Pittman, who will meet with current FVSU assistants today. “We did the interview and he said, ‘I’m going to offer you the job.’ "
Rivers said he was 90 percent sure Pittman was the man, but he wanted to talk more about academics and Pittman’s philosophy.
He liked what he heard, the offer was made and accepted, and the 57-year-old was introduced to about 100 fans, staff, faculty and members of the current coaching staff as construction on the new stadium 100 yards away took a break.
Pittman got brownie points by fairly quickly talking about beating rivals Tuskegee and Albany State.
“I know the expectations of the program,” he said. “I know my best coaching days are ahead of me.”
Pittman spent seven season as offensive coordinator at Albany State, one of FVSU's two biggest rivals in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and helped the Rams to at least a share of four conference titles.
The 1974 graduate of Adams State (Colo.) University joined the ASU staff in 2002 after working at Midwestern State (Texas) and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
He succeeds Deondri Clark, who resigned on Nov. 10, two days after the Wildcats completed a 6-5 season with a 15-6 win over Stillman.