Panthers roar at Mon Valley Chapter event
College Football Videos
The University of Pittsburgh athletic department was out in full force at the Willow Room Thursday for the Mon Valley Chapter of the Panther Club's “A Night with the Panthers.”
The evening featured appearances by men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon, football coach Paul Chryst, women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio and Athletic Director Steve Pederson.
All four spoke to the 50 or so people in attendance.
“Another successful event,” Mon Valley Panther Club President Dr. Randy Rodriguez said of the affair. “It's a little bit smaller than in years past, but I would certainly call it another successful event.
“There are a lot of people I have never seen before, which hopefully means our chapter is expanding a bit, and of course we had some heavy hitters show up to speak like in most years.”
While the event was smaller than in past years, Rodriguez contends it benefits the dinner and gives the guests an opportunity to mingle with the university's coaches and staff members who come. Only a portion of the Willow Room was opened and there was no raised seating dais for the coaches, all of whom were part of past events.
“To be honest, the room could have been opened up and spread out like last year, but this is a more intimate setting,” Rodriguez said. “The format changed a few years ago when they removed the dais and it has been steadily shrinking the size of the event. We used to get 125, 150 people for this banquet. But this way, people have a better opportunity to meet and mingle, which I think everybody likes.
“It's two hours, a lot more casual and people can come and go when they want.”
Dixon spoke first and touched on the importance of academics and how Pitt seeks true student-athletes. He also mentioned the news that the Panther basketball squad will face Indiana in their season opener as part of the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Chryst, Pederson and McConnell-Serio followed up. Each said their first event after being introduced as Panther head coaches was the Mon Vally Chapter's event.
“We are one of the only chapters that has the banquet by itself,” Rodriguez said. “Most of the other ones have the dinner after the golf outing, where ours is separate. So its special. These coaches get their first introduction to the fan base and some of the donors and we're proud that we get to give off the first impression much of the time.”
Three people with major Mon Valley and Pitt Athletic Department ties were also present; head athletic trainer Tony Salesi, a Frazier graduate; Executive Associate Athletic Director Donna Sanft, a Monessen graduate; and retired wrestling coach Rande Stottlemyer, who resides in Charleroi.
“We had all of the heavy hitters come tonight,” Rodriguez said. “And not only them, we had a lot of other Pitt coaches and administration show up, too.”
Donnie Tasser is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- VND Campus clippings: Leechburg graduate Barto picks up initial college victory at Gannon
- District football roundup: Cal (Pa.) staves off late IUP comeback
- Campus clippings: Kiski Area grad Smith inducted into Bethany Hall of Fame
- Thomas Jefferson grad stars on defensive line, and more, at Bethany
- Slippery Rock football returns to Big House
- District football preview: Preseason favorites IUP, Cal (Pa.) still finding full potential
- District college notes: St. Vincent women win twice
- Former Springdale soccer star creating opportunities for La Roche teammates