Geoff Collins, Pat Narduzzi make peace after awkward postgame handshake

Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins answers a question at the ACC media days in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
Caption
Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins answers a question at the ACC media days in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, July 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

Credit: Nell Redmond

Credit: Nell Redmond

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The last time that Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins and Pitt counterpart Pat Narduzzi met in person before Wednesday, the exchange was as awkward as it was memorable — a postgame handshake following their teams’ Dec. 10 game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in which Collins pulled away from Narduzzi’s grip after a cursory exchange.

The two met again at the ACC Kickoff media event, and the greeting was far more genial, according to both coaches.

“That’s a long time ago, but I was just like, Hey, whatever happened, happened — no disrespect,” Collins told the AJC. “We yukked it up and talked, so it was a good moment.”

Georgia Tech's coach Geoff Collins and Pittsburgh's coach Pat Narduzzi react after they exchanged an unpleasant handshake after Dec. 10, 2020, game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Pitt won 34-20. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Caption
Georgia Tech's coach Geoff Collins and Pittsburgh's coach Pat Narduzzi react after they exchanged an unpleasant handshake after Dec. 10, 2020, game at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta. Pitt won 34-20. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Following the game, a 34-20 win for Pitt, Collins explained that he was trying to join his players after the contentious game, likely with a mind to making sure they were separated from Pitt players.

Narduzzi said Wednesday that he was appreciative of Collins approaching him to make peace. He said Collins assured him that the brevity of the handshake was not directed at him.

“He’s a class act, and it’s over,” Narduzzi said. “But he was mad at the officials, which, I might be mad at the officials, too. But this is college football, and things happen like that. We know nothing’s perfect, so I appreciate him saying something.”