Source: Pat Narduzzi to coach Pitt

— -- Pittsburgh has finalized an agreement with Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to be its next football coach, a source told on Wednesday.

A news conference is scheduled for Friday.

Narduzzi has coached some of the nation's most productive, physical, blue-collar defenses over the past eight seasons under Spartans coach Mark Dantonio.

The Spartans ranked first in the Big Ten and in the top 10 of FBS in total defense and rushing defense for three consecutive seasons under the 48-year-old Narduzzi, who won the Broyles Award in 2013 as the nation's top assistant coach.

Michigan State has also consistently led or been among the nation's leaders in turnover margin under Narduzzi's watch.

The hiring would be a homecoming of sorts for Narduzzi. He grew up in Youngtown, Ohio, about an hour north of Pittsburgh, and his father, Bill, coached at Youngstown State from 1975 to 1985. Narduzzi inherits a program coming off a fourth straight 6-6 regular season.

Steelers running back  Le'Veon Bell, who played at Michigan State, said Panthers players are "going to love him."

"I was an offensive player, so I always went against him in college. But when I watched him react to his defense, I know that our players loved him. They just loved playing for him. He's an overall great guy, a player's coach," he said.

Bell said he's happy Narduzzi will be coaching in the same city as him.

"So, it's crazy that he's going to be right across the street [hallway] from me. I'm just glad I'll be able to reunite with him, so I can support him and he'll support me again," he said.

Narduzzi will replace Paul Chryst, who left for the Wisconsin job earlier this month.

Chryst's decision to leave caused a seismic shift in the Pitt athletic program. Longtime athletic director Steve Pederson was fired the day Chryst was introduced as coach of the Badgers. While a permanent successor to Pederson has yet to be named, whoever gets the job will have to work in lockstep with Narduzzi to give Pitt a needed dose of buzz.

Narduzzi is the program's fifth full-time head coach since 2010, a list that includes Dave Wannstedt, Todd Graham -- who bailed after just one season in 2011 for Arizona State -- and the affable but hardly charismatic Chryst.

Narduzzi inherits a young team that has more than 80 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, including running back James Conner and wide receiver Tyler Boyd. Conner was named the ACC Player of the Year after running for 1,675 yards and a school-record 24 touchdowns, while Boyd is one of the most electrifying skill players in the country. Both will stick around for at least one more season, giving Narduzzi a solid jumping off point as he tries to forge his own identity in his first head coaching job. Steelers reporter Scott Brown and The Associated Press contributed to this report.