Pitt lures Jeff Capel from Duke to become new Mens’ basketball head coach


The University of Pittsburgh will name Duke’s Jeff Capel as their new Mens’ basketball coach at a 12:00 p.m. press conference on Wednesday. Final Take: For a coaching search that even Pitt officials weren’t sure where it was headed, Heather Lyke and her staff did very well in adjusting on the go from Plan-A to Plan-B and such. The primary focus early in the process was seeing if they could lure a high pedigree head coach to Pitt and when that became bright and clear it wasn’t going to happen, the final conclusion of the search shows there wasn’t a panic in making a get anybody hiring like Mark Schmidt would have been. This was about as good as you could do in landing a top level assistant like Capel from a major program in Duke. With Lyke not willing to entertain Sean Miller despite immense pressure from people financiallyRead More »

PITT Coaching Search: Dan Hurley Heads to UConn


Rhode Island head coach Dan Hurley has been named the new men’s basketball coach at UConn, the school announced Thursday. Hurley received a six-year deal, ESPN reports. Hurley, 45, was Pitt’s top target in their coaching search but reality is Hurley was never coming to Pitt and the Panthers offer of at least $3.3 million per season didn’t change anything other than making UConn come up on their initial offer which is said to have been around $2.5 million per season. Where Pitt goes from here remains to be seen but the school has known for days that getting Hurley was a hail mary. Former Ohio State coach Thad Matta has long been a favorite of Heather Lyke but Pitt officials have had trouble getting Matta to consider the job. Matta turned down an offer from Georgia last week who then went on to hire Tom Crean, another coaching candidateRead More »

How new Pitt AD Heather Lyke will eventually be viewed always starts with the football program


The university of Pittsburgh filled their Athletic Director position on Monday by naming Heather Lyke their new AD. With the hiring, Pitt chancellor Patrick Gallagher cited Lyke “exemplary record of 22 years” in high-level roles in collegiate athletics administration. Lyke comes highly respected from Ohio State and Eastern Michigan. Lyke had served as Vice President and Director of Athletics at Eastern Michigan since 2013. Prior to her EMU tenure, she was a ranking athletic administrator at Ohio State for 15 years. A native of Canton, Ohio, Lyke additionally held posts at the University of Cincinnati and with the NCAA. “Heather Lyke’s track record exemplifies her dedication to student-athletes. She has a passion for success in the classroom, on the playing field and in life after graduation,” said Gallagher. “She is the perfect person to lead our Department of Athletics into a new era of excellence, and I am thrilled to welcomeRead More »

TIOPS Inside Buzz: Stallings Hire might be a tough sell but there’s still some intrigue about the hire


TIOPS INSIDE BUZZ *Rumblings, Musings, Opinions* 1. A young up and coming coach with Pittsburgh ties who coaches at Dayton had no interest in the job, showed immediately during the Panthers coach search of how the program is viewed. Pitt was never going to get a named coach like Sean Miller from Arizona that brought great excitement to the fan base but some had to at least hope Pitt would get the attention of his brother or a coach like him. They didn’t and some of this also isn’t Pitt’s fault as a program. Many coaches, notably some of the top young coaches, weren’t interested in the job because of who they have to compete with in the ACC, the likes of North Carolina, Duke, Louisville and Syracuse. That had a few on Pitt’s radar not even interested in interviewing, Archie Miller being among them. The immediate reaction from theRead More »

Pitt officially tabs Kevin Stallings as new head coach


Kevin Stallings has been officially named the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball program. It was announced by Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes Sunday afternoon. “Coach Stallings and I share the same vision for Pitt — playing in the Final Four,” said Barnes in a released statement. “Kevin has a successful track record recruiting the ACC footprint and beyond, and is one of the best coaches in the country at building an offense around his talent. He plays a fun up-tempo style that players love and fans will enjoy. Kevin runs his program with impeccable character and has a high care factor and connection with his student-athletes. He is a Power Five conference coach whose experience and success will be immediate assets for our program.”

Jamie Dixon leaving Pitt was a mutual parting between the two sides


Jamie Dixon is off to TCU. Dixon and Pitt officials both came to an agreement over the weekend that things have reached the point where it was time to move on. Dixon with knowledge that TCU was targeting him as their next head coach, officially received permission Saturday to pursue the opportunity and Pitt made it clear to Dixon and his representatives that they would not stand in the way. Pitt agreeing to a reduced buyout Dixon by the Numbers *328-123 record in 13 seasons *11 NCAA Tournament Appearances *Two Regular Season Big East Titles *One Big Tournament Title

Pitt’s Weak Non-Conference Schedule has helped them look like an NCAA Tournament team on Paper


A winning recipe for Jamie Dixon’s basketball team this season has been scoring 70 points. When Pitt scores 70 points they were 20-0 coming into today’s game. The Panthers put up 71 points against No. 7 North Carolina but had no answers defensively in an 88-71 loss to the Tar Heels. “I certainly thought we would have finished off better than we did,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said after the loss. “The defense struggled the entire game. Eventually it caught up to us as they pulled away in the second half.” Pitt played with North Carolina in the first half in trading chances but the Tar Heels would pull away in the second half. With the game tied at 45 with 15:52 left the Tar Heels got rolling fueled by an 11-0 run. Where this game really started to get away from Pitt was late in the first half whenRead More »

Benz: Pitt Football Program gets a Reality Check


PITT FOOTBALL PROGRAM GETS A REALITY CHECK The coach lost his cool. The players lost the football game. And the program lost its momentum. That’s what happened to Pitt on Thursday night. Although I guess it’s hard to say “momentum” with a straight face after that many Pitt fans successfully pulled off Halloween costumes as empty seats at Heinz Field Thursday night. But let’s not get bogged down on the Panther attendance debate at Heinz Field. Let’s focus instead on whether or not this year’s Pitt team really is all that different from the 14 years of its predecessors at Heinz Field instead. One thing I learned watching Pitt’s 26-19 air-brake type of loss to North Carolina is this: There’s a difference between “different” and “good.” Yeah, this Pitt team is different. It didn’t lose its season opening game at home against Youngstown St under a new coach. That wasRead More »