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.”

Atlantic LB Chanler Ferguson stays close to home by signing with FAU

 

Chanler Ferguson with Atlantic High School football team smiles during media day for south Florida high school football teams at Nova Southeastern University Aug. 08, 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale. The event was sponsored by the Miami Dolphins. (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post)
Chanler Ferguson with Atlantic High School football team smiles during media day for south Florida high school football teams at Nova Southeastern University Aug. 08, 2015 in Ft. Lauderdale. The event was sponsored by the Miami Dolphins. (Bill Ingram / Palm Beach Post)

DELRAY BEACH — After a 12-1 season, the Atlantic High football program saw several of its graduating seniors choose the schools where they’ll continue their education and their playing careers.

One player was Chanler Ferguson. The linebacker chose to join Charlie Partridge’s program at Florida Atlantic. The first and most important aspect of his decision was his level of contentment.

“If I’m going to be spending the next four years away from home, I need to be comfortable,” he said.

Ferguson saw the Boca campus as part of school activities, and later visited the campus officially to meet players and coaches.

“It felt like home,” he said. “So why not stay home?”

FAU receivers coach Dan Shula took the lead in Ferguson’s recruiting.

“He stayed with me through the ups and downs of the [recruiting] process. I’d say he had a big impact on my decision,” Ferguson said.

For an extensive look at the Owls’ complete recruiting class — along with each recruit’s high school highlights — check out the FAU sports website.