Former FAU coach Charlie Partridge resurfaces at Pittsburgh

Coach Charlie Partridge leads his team in drills during fall camp. (Palm Beach Post staff photo)
Coach Charlie Partridge leads his team in drills during fall camp. (Palm Beach Post staff photo)

After only a few months away, Charlie Partridge is back in the college football coaching ranks.

The former Florida Atlantic head coach has joined Pat Narduzzi’s staff at the University of Pittsburgh. Partridge will serve as defensive line coach, one of several assistant positions he filled during his first stint at the school from 2003-07.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to return to Pitt and work with Coach Narduzzi and his staff,” Partridge said in a statement. “I’m fully aware that the University of Pittsburgh is a special institution in an amazing city with a top-notch football program that competes at the highest level in the ACC. I look forward to applying all the lessons I’ve learned since previously being here while also learning from this tremendous staff.”

Partridge spent three seasons at FAU, posting identical 3-9 records in each. Before coming to Boca Raton, he held assistant head-coach positions under Bret Bielema at Wisconsin and Arkansas.

Partridge’s defensive resume is littered with success stories.

During his first tenure at Pittsburgh, he worked with Scott McKillop, the nation’s leader in tackles in

2007 and a 2009 fifth-round draft pick by the San Francisco 49ers. At Wisconsin, Partridge’s line included J.J. Watt, a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year. At Arkansas, Partridge coached Trey Flowers, who helped the New England Patriots with 2.5 sacks in their Super Bowl LI victory. At FAU, Partridge helped Trey Hendrickson become the program’s all-time sack leader.

Partridge, a Plantation native, has also been lauded for his recruiting skills and South Florida ties. Two of his three recruiting classes at FAU were graded among Conference USA’s top three.

“Charlie’s familiarity with Pitt is a major asset and the fact that he has experience as a head coach will benefit our entire staff,” Narduzzi said. “His reputation as a strong recruiter is highly deserved and will serve us well all across the ACC footprint, including Pittsburgh.”

Lane Kiffin says horrible Signing Day hype video was ‘a trick’

Lane Kiffin, the newly announced head coach of Florida Atlantic University football, shakes hands with Spanish River football coach Bill Ceasar at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton on December 13, 2016.  (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)
Lane Kiffin, the newly announced head coach of Florida Atlantic University football, shakes hands with Spanish River football coach Bill Ceasar at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton on December 13, 2016. (Richard Graulich / The Palm Beach Post)

Comatose coach squinting through sunlight? Check. Choppy editing and cheesy soundtrack? Check and check.

FAU and first-year football coach Lane Kiffin used the above recipe to create either the week’s most awkward or most sneaky-genius hype video ahead of National Signing Day.

The video, which was posted to and later deleted from FAU’s official Twitter account, was objectively cringeworthy. It had the enthusiasm of a child sleep-walking through daily chores and the soundtrack of a mandatory corporate retreat.

All of that helped it catch viral fire, pushing FAU into the national spotlight in a week typically reserved for college football’s superpowers. That the Owls subsequently enjoyed their best signing day ever — tops in Conference USA, 72nd overall on 247 Sports — suggests the clip actually helped, not hurt, their sales pitch.

That, Kiffin said Wednesday, was the plan all along.

“That was a trick,” Kiffin said of the non-hype video. “We did it so bad because we knew we would get so much attention. That was actually on purpose.”

Some remain skeptical even after the explanation. If the video was intentionally atrocious and made solely as an attention-grabber, why did FAU feel the need to expunge it from its Twitter feed?

But no matter the intent, the clip served its purpose. The Owls were buzzing across the football landscape and continue to do so after Kiffin’s first recruiting haul.

FAU announced 24 signees Wednesday. The class included 15 three-star players, according to 247 Sports, including former Florida State quarterback De’Andre Johnson, former Texas wide receiver DeAndre McNeal and former Miami safety commit Ahman Ross. McNeal, the nation’s No. 8 junior college receiver, picked FAU over UCLA.

Maybe the Bruins should have invested in their own awful (but maybe purposely awful) recruiting video.