Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Decision on Coach Is Close Vanderbilt's Top Man Now in Mix

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Decision on Coach Is Close Vanderbilt's Top Man Now in Mix

Article excerpt

The search for Pitt's next head coach is moving quickly toward a resolution as the school has told some candidates that they are no longer being considered.

That is usually a sign that a school has zeroed in on its candidate, and several sources said Saturday that a deal is in the works with a coach and an announcement could come as soon as Monday or Tuesday.

One name that has emerged as a serious candidate is Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings, according to multiple sources.

Stallings, who reportedly was on the verge of being fired by Vanderbilt as late as Thursday, has been at the school 17 seasons and has led the Commodores to seven NCAA tournaments, twice to the Sweet 16.

He is 332-220 as Vanderbilt's coach but he has a losing record in the Southeastern Conference (138-142). It would seem that he does not fit the profile of the kind of coach Barnes said he was looking for to energize the program.

There is also history with one of Pitt's players - junior Sheldon Jeter - who originally went to Vanderbilt but left in large part because he didn't like playing for Stallings.

Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes has handled the search largely by himself -though the school hired the search firm Collegiate Sports Associates in North Carolina to handle some of the initial contact and background checking - and has kept only a very small circle of people in the loop.

The founder and president of the search firm, Todd Turner, has a history with Stallings and helped to place him at Vanderbilt in 1999.

Barnes was said to be conducting interviews through the weekend but the fact that Georgia Tech fired Brian Gregory Friday - and created another ACC opening - accelerated Pitt's time line.

Barnes returned from the road Saturday after several days of conducting interviews and sources said he has settled on his choice. …

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