Pitt athletics director has been on a roll lately, providing a much-needed boost to the basketball program with the hiring of new coach Jason Capel. To a lesser degree, Lyke also delighted fans by announcing a series of proposed facilities updates and that the position of cameras during basketball games will change to show the Oakland Zoo side of the arena - something long desired by a lot of the fanbase.
On Friday, the school announced it was extending her contract, adding six years to her current deal. Financial terms, as they generally are not in Pitt’s case, were not disclosed.
Like any college contract, you always take these things with a grain of salt. They really mean very little in that Lyke can take another job at any time before fulfilling the contract. However, having been at Pitt for only about a year, this kind of extensions shows the school was anxious to try to reward her for a job well done.
Lyke has only been here a short time but has already made many quality moves. Her hiring of coaches, for example, has already been generally seen as pretty good. Capel is already making great strides with the men’s basketball team’s recruiting. Pitt hired an elite women’s soccer coach with a large amount of past success in Randy Waldrum. Gymnastics coach Samantha Snider took the team to the NCAA Regionals this year, something it hadn’t achieved since 2013. The wrestling coaching search was a bit of a mess but Pitt appears to have emerged with a solid choice in Keith Gavin. Hires for the women’s basketball team (Lance White) and diving (Katie Hazelton) are mostly unknown at this point but Lyke’s hires overall look very good.
On top of those moves, she also gave an extension to head football coach Pat Narduzzi in December and the pair have a great working relationship - something virtually essential these days in college sports as football is really the driver in terms of revenue for most schools for the rest of the athletics department.
It remains early in her career and she has only been on the job for about a year now. But thus far, it is difficult to deny that Lyke has made in incredible first impression.