In what has likely become the most highly anticipated firing of Pitt Athletics history since Steve Pederson was let go in late 2014, Pitt is parting ways with Kevin Stallings after two seasons.
According to a source close to the situation, Kevin Stallings has been fired as Pitt coach.— Chris Dokish (@ChrisDokish) March 8, 2018
Pitt has parted ways with Kevin Stallings, per a source.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 8, 2018
Pitt issued a statement about an hour or so after the news broke:
“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.”
I don’t think there’s much to be said at this point. There’s been thousands of words trying to justify just what went wrong, who’s fault it is, should he have been given more time, etc.
Was it all Kevin Stallings fault? I think it’s pretty well established that the blame likely lays on three people. Stallings, Scott Barnes, and yes, Jamie Dixon a little bit. However, the latter two aren’t at Pitt anymore, and unfortunately for Stallings, Pitt and its fans wanted their pound of flesh.
What’s the next step? Well, obviously we get to go through another coaching search, and Pitt fans generally know how those go at this point. I think a good priority for Heather Lyke and whoever the new coach is is trying to keep the handful of promising players on the current team. It would not be the end of the world if a few kids decide to leave, but I do actually like the core of this group.
I think Pitt fans will give the new coach a much wider berth, and understand the new staff will truly be building from the ground up. No place to go but up after 0-19.