Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Minor League Catcher Refers to Pitt's New Coach as Dad

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Minor League Catcher Refers to Pitt's New Coach as Dad

Article excerpt

BRADENTON, Fla. - Pirates minor league catcher Jacob Stallings has a pretty good idea of how Pitt men's basketball will look under its new head coach.

Sunday, Pitt hired Stallings' father, Kevin, to replace Jamie Dixon as basketball coach after Dixon left for TCU. Kevin Stallings coached Vanderbilt the past 17 seasons. During the baseball offseason, Jacob Stallings helped his dad, working in the office and at practice compiling advanced statistics.

"Basically, I chart how we score, what plays we run, that sort of thing," the younger Stallings said. "I do some advanced defensive stuff, too, how we box out or guard the ball, how teams score against us, that sort of thing."

Kevin had traveled to Bradenton to spend time with Jacob when Pitt reached out and asked to interview him. Kevin left to interview, returned to Bradenton and flew back home Sunday night to Nashville, Tenn.. Jacob drove him to the airport after starting in a minor league game.

"The first thing I heard was that they wanted to interview him," Jacob said. "That was surprising, just because I was surprised that Coach Dixon left in the first place, just because he's been there for so long."

Jacob, a seventh-round pick out of North Carolina in the 2012 draft, reached Class AA Altoona in 2015. He played more as the season progressed and hit .275 with a .313 on-base percentage in 292 plate appearances.

"It's still pretty far away for me," he said of possibly joining his father in Pittsburgh. "I never thought he'd beat me to Pittsburgh, but he did. It's fun to think about, but, obviously, I'm just excited for him right now."

Stallings said he is used to his father, who has been a head coach for 23 seasons, receiving public attention and criticism.

"It's kind of all I've ever known," he said. "He handles it well, basically because he doesn't really look at anything. …

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