As Mike wrote recently, Pitt has a new women’s soccer coach in Randy Waldrum. Like the Jay Vidovich hire on the men’s side, Waldrum’s hire was a high-profile one. It’s a move that continues to show Pitt’s prioritizing of making its Olympic sports more competitive.
Waldrum comes to Pitt with a track record of success. Most notably, he coached at Notre Dame for 14 seasons, winning two national championships. Waldrum also won eight Big East Tournament championships and went to eight Final Fours with the Irish. Quite simply, he led one of the premier programs in the country for more than a decade.
Like Vidovich, however, Waldrum has plenty of work to do at Pitt.
The women’s soccer program has struggled for a long time. This season, the team was 3-12-3, going winless in the ACC. That type of futility had been pretty common, unfortunately. The Panthers won only two matches in 2016 and, save for a 10-win season in 2015, had been under .500 every year since 2010.
The good news is that, as we saw with the Vidovich hire, turnarounds can happen quickly. Pitt won only two matches in 2016, Vidovich’s first year with the program. But this season, he led them to eight wins, including three victories over ranked teams. Waldrum’s turnaround might not happen that quickly and to expect that would be kind of unfair. But the precedent is at least there and hopefully, Waldrum can duplicate the kind of success that Vidovich has had.