Pitt athletics director Scott Barnes has vowed to improve Pitt's athletics program and that has included a clear interest in the Olympic sports. Barnes' hires of proven soccer and swimming/diving coaches has helped show that and it appears he believes the baseball program is in good shape with the re-signing of coach Joe Jordano.
Jordano received a three-year extension as announced on Monday and will continue to lead the Panthers.
Overall, he's done okay. The good news is that Pitt continues to send players to the MLB Draft and this season, had five players selected - second most in their history. And aside from 2012, the Panthers have had at least three players picked in every year since 2010. This year, first-round pitcher T.J. Zeuch became the highest-selected player in Pitt baseball history. In all, 23 Pitt players have been drafted since 2010.
Jordano's era as a whole has produced a ton of picks and the good news is that the program is increasing in the number of players picked. He joined the Panthers in 1997 and by that time, Pitt had only 18 players taken to that point as a program dating back to the inception of the draft in 1965 (Pitt baseball had been around long before that). But the Panthers have had 42 players taken under his watch - an average of more than two per season.
Despite all of the picks, though, the program still has struggled on the field in the ACC. The team had a breakout year in 2013 with a school record 42 wins. But since then, the program has had three straight losing seasons. Now, playing in the ACC makes things difficult and no one expected them to continue to win as much as they did in that final Big East season. The Panthers, too, have won some high profile games, beating several ranked teams and even topping some ranked teams in series. But overall, they have not had much success in the league yet.
The team was a hair under .500 this year, going 25-26 and that was its best finish in the conference in their three years in the ACC. And with all of the draft picks in the past few years, perhaps things are trending upward. I didn't have a problem with the extension and all things considering, the baseball program has done okay considering it is playing in a powerhouse conference for the first time.
Competing in the ACC will take time and so far, Jordano has done a sufficient job in my eyes. Pitt can't afford to continually keep having losing seasons but almost everyone expected gaining ground in a difficult conference to take some time.
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