Kevin Stallings has been fired after two seasons as the head coach at Pittsburgh. Last season’s team finished at a disappointing 16-17 (4-14) but it was the 2017-18 effort that forced the school’s hand: 8-24 overall and a goose egg 0-18 ACC record (plus a 19th conference loss in the ACC Tournament).
But the losses came early and often for a coach that many in the Pitt fanbase were never interested getting behind. Home attendance dropped nearly 50 percent this season vs last and Pitt faithful have been calling for a change for months.
It is rare to see a head coach get fired so quickly based solely on on-court results, but it’s even more rare to see a program of Pitt’s stature drop so far so fast.
Athletic director Heather Lyke is in a tough spot, having cut ties with a coach she hired just two years ago. Stallings’ contract is guaranteed, meaning the school owes him an additional three years salary for firing without cause (roughly $9.4M unless an agreement can be reached). That may make it difficult to afford a top-tier head coach as a replacement.
That said, whoever comes in next will inherit a young Panthers team looking to build up a foundation and return the Pitt program to its past glory.
Potential candidates include out-of-work coaches Thad Matta and Tom Crean (also a former Pitt assistant and married to a Pitt grad), Mountain West COY Eric Musselman, A-10 COY Dan Hurley, MAC COY Nate Oats and North Florida’s Matthew Driscoll (2x A-Sun COY and a Pittsburgh native).