PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The worst season in Pittsburgh basketball history cost head coach Kevin Stallings his job.
A person with direct knowledge of the situations said Stallings was let go by the university on Thursday, just two days after the Panthers completed an 8-24 season that included an 0-19 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play.
The university made a formal announcement regarding Stallings’ firing Thursday morning.
“I want to express my appreciation to Coach Stallings for his commitment to our program,” Pittsburgh Director of Athletics Heather Lyke said. “In moving forward, we have tremendous expectations for our men’s basketball program at Pitt and I believe we can achieve great things within the Atlantic Coast Conference and nationally. A national search for the next Pitt head coach will begin immediately.”
Stallings went just 24-41 in two season at Pitt after replacing Jamie Dixon in March 2016. Dixon left to take the head coaching job at his alma mater, Texas Christian University. The Panthers were a perennial NCAA Tournament team under Dixon but Stallings struggled from the outset.
The Panthers were bounced from the ACC Tournament after losing 67-64 earlier this week.
Pitt finished 16-17 in his first season despite having senior stars Michael Young and Jamel Artis. Stallings restocked the roster heading into the season, bringing in 11 new players. Whatever thin margin for error the Panthers had vanished when senior forward Ryan Luther was lost for the year with a foot injury in December. Without the most experience player, Pitt simply couldn’t keep up in arguably the nation’s toughest conference.
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