Chris Peak on Pitt hiring Kevin Stallings to be their new basketball coach. Most negative reaction to a Pitt hiring that he has seen.
From Pitt PR- Kevin Stallings has been named the head coach of the University of Pittsburgh men’s basketball program as announced by Pitt Athletic Director Scott Barnes Sunday afternoon.
“Coach Stallings and I share the same vision for Pitt — playing in the Final Four,” said Barnes. “Kevin has a successful track record recruiting the ACC footprint and beyond, and is one of the best coaches in the country at building an offense around his talent. He plays a fun up-tempo style that players love and fans will enjoy. Kevin runs his program with impeccable character and has a high care factor and connection with his student-athletes. He is a Power Five conference coach whose experience and success will be immediate assets for our program.”
Stallings has compiled a 455-283 record with nine NCAA Tournament appearances over a 23-year head coaching career. He began his head coaching career at Illinois State in 1993 before taking control of the Vanderbilt program prior to the start of the 1999-00 season.
“I am extremely excited to join the University of Pittsburgh family,” said Stallings. “Pitt has a tremendous basketball tradition and I am looking forward to building on the excellent foundation that is in place on the court and in the classroom. The city of Pittsburgh is outstanding and I have a great deal of respect for the people that make it such a special place. I look forward to seeing their support along with that of the Oakland Zoo next season at the Petersen Events Center.”
A two-time SEC Coach of the Year, Stallings spent the past 17 seasons at Vanderbilt compiling eight 20+ win seasons en route to a 332-220 record overall. His teams advanced to seven NCAA Tournaments, including six in the past 10 years and three consecutive tournaments (2010, 2011, 2012) for the first time in program history. He also became the first coach to take two Vanderbilt teams (2004 and 2007) to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament since the field expanded to 64 teams. In all, Stallings coached in 12 postseason tournaments during his time at Vanderbilt with seven NCAA Tournament bids and five NIT appearances.
In 2011-12, he led Vanderbilt to the SEC Tournament Championship, marking the first time a Commodore team won the tournament in 60 years. His team reached the third round of the NCAA Tournament and concluded the season 25-11 overall.
Stallings coached three SEC Players of the Year (Dan Langhi, Derrick Byars, Shan Foster), seven NBA Draft picks, 37 All-SEC performers and 53 SEC Academic Honor Roll members during his tenure in Nashville. He also coached the top three scorers (Foster, Jeffrey Taylor and Matt Freije) in program history.
Success has followed Stallings over 38 years in the college ranks as a player at Purdue, an assistant at both Purdue and Kansas and his previous head coaching positions at Illinois State and Vanderbilt. During that time span, he has been a part of 25 seasons with 20-or-more victories and a basketball season that concluded during postseason play 30 times.
Along with the success on the court, Stallings has also witnessed his players excel in the classroom. At Vanderbilt, all 45 of his seniors either have earned or are currently working toward their college degree. While at Illinois State, five Redbirds achieved Academic All-America status; and all but two seniors earned their degree.
“The University of Pittsburgh’s tremendous reputation as an elite academic institution added to the appeal of this position,” Stallings added. “I believe we can achieve a great deal of success on the court and in the classroom, while developing complete student-athletes.”
As an assistant coach, Stallings worked with two of the nation’s most well-known and respected mentors – Gene Keady, his college coach at Purdue, and Roy Williams at Kansas.
After helping lead the Boilermakers as a player (1980-82) to three postseason tournament appearances, including a NCAA Final Four appearance in 1980, Stallings served as an assistant coach under Keady from 1983-88. On Keady’s staff, Stallings helped direct Purdue to six NCAA Tournament appearances and three Big Ten championships while tallying a 140-44 overall record.
Stallings left Purdue to join Williams’ coaching staff at Kansas in 1989. Over the next five seasons, the Jayhawks made four NCAA Tournament appearances, enjoyed two trips to the Final Four, finished as the 1991 national runner-up and accumulated a 132-38 mark during Stallings’ stay.
A 1978 graduate of Collinsville High School outside of St. Louis, Stallings played under the legendary Vergil Fletcher, who was inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004. Stallings earned his undergraduate degree in business management and marketing at Purdue in 1982 before receiving a Master’s degree in counseling from Purdue in 1985. Stallings and his wife Lisa have three children: Jacob, Alexa and Jordyn.
Stallings is the 15th head coach in program history and takes over a team that went 21-12 overall and 9-9 in the ACC a year ago. The Panthers reached the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in the past 15 seasons before falling to Wisconsin, 47-43, in an opening round game in St. Louis.