It has trickled out that Kevin Stallings, the Head Basketball Coach at Pitt will be let go from his current contract.
“I want to express my appreciation to Coach Stallings for his commitment to our program,” 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.”
Many have speculated that this would happen and after a winless 2018 ACC Campaign, The Athletic Director was left with few options. If she kept Stallings, there is no doubt the team would get better next season, but how much better was a huge question. And with the fan base completely disinterested in Stalliings and the team, the Athletic Director was left with no options.
CBSSports.com is reporting it took $9.3 million in order to send Stallings Packing.
Stallings tenure was doomed from the start. I heard one of the Pitt Flagship Afternoon Hosts say he felt like the media was giving Stallings a shot. I practically jumped through my radio. The fanbase nor the media gave him a shot. But that was not his fault, it was in fact the former Athletic Director Scott Barnes. It was a bad hire for Pitt because the fan base never bought in. That negativity ballooned and then all the bad luck followed.
Now that he has been removed, it’s time to look at some coaching options.
Coaches out of reach, Dan Hurley and Gregg Marshall. I believe Marshall from Wichita State will move on this year with the turnover he is facing. But I don’t think he would consider Pitt unless the AD could pay him the going rate. Dan Hurley is too high profile for the job, although resurrecting a program is always good when stepping to a bigger job.
I believe Pitt could consider Earl Grant from the College of Charleston. He is from ACC Country and has been successful in recent years including 2017 NABC All-District Coach of the Year, 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year with a 25-10 overall. This would be a flyer by the AD and will probably not happen.
Tom Crean I believe could be an option as he has been out of coaching for a year now, fired from Indiana. He was not able to return them to the former glory of Bobby Knight status. That was never going to happen, but the former Marquette head coach has an ability to recruit NBA style players and is a quality head coach. Crean would not be a bad hire, but I am not sure this is the guy that Heather Lyke wants to take a chance on.
Thad Matta, former Ohio STATE Head coach stepped down because of back issues and recently withdrew his name from consideration from the Ole Miss job. He reportedly stated that the Pitt job was one to look at moving forward. Matta is 50 years old and as long as he is healthy he should be a prime target.
Jeff Capel III, is an assistant at Duke, and former player. He has such a great track record under Coach K, and has been a more than solid recruiter in the ACC. Not sure he would consider this move, but he would once again interesting name.
Not sure if this guy would be interested, but ND Assistant Rod Balanis would be a good hire. He is someone who played in the ACC with Georgia Tech, and has been winning at Notre Dame under Mike Brey since 2000. He understands the ACC and is an excellent recruiter.
Let’s go right off the reservation with Hubert Davis of North Carolina. He played at NC, and has been an assistant there for 6 years. He is a former ESPN analyst and Played 12 seasons in the NBA. He may be a good fit here at Pitt, just not sure they have the money or the reach to get him.
There are many more being talked about so the speculation will run wild for the next week or 2… or until this search is over. We will cover this as it breaks and as the information becomes available.