There was a ‘national search’ by University of Pittsburgh and Athletic Director Steve Pederson to hire a new women’s basketball head coach and it was a very familiar face that provided clarity.
Pederson asked men’s head coach Jamie Dixon about the opening and who Dixon would choose.
“It’s kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it,” Dixon asked.
That was the beginning and ultimately after a week of soul searching, Suzie McConnell-Serio decided it was right to leave Duquesne and head up Forbes Avenue to Oakland where she will take over as head coach for the Pitt Panthers women’s basketball team.
Pederson said the original contract was for five seasons, however McConnell-Serio said she wanted that extra year and the deal is now for six years.
“This will be my last job, I don’t want to go anywhere else,” McConnell-Serio said. “And I will be here as long as [Pederson] wants me to be here and allows me to coach this team.”
“I probably wouldn’t have left Duquesne for any other job than this job because this is my home, where we want to live and we’re excited that I only had to come two miles further to work each and every day,” McConnell-Serio said.
Earlier in the morning, McConnell-Serio informed her Duquesne players of the news and just recalling that made her emotional. There is no news on who will replace McConnell-Serio at Duquesne.
“We would like to thank Suzie McConnell-Serio for six excellent years as the leader of the Duquesne women’s basketball team,” director of athletics Greg Amodio said in a statement. “She established the program as one of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference and guided this program to impressive heights. We wish her the best of luck as she moves on to this new challenge.”
The Panthers have had their struggles especially these past two seasons where they failed to win a conference game. McConnell-Serio knows that she will have to bring the players together and get straight to work.
“We are working as hard as we can to bring the pride back to Pitt women’s basketball,” McConnell-Serio said.