Berenato won't return as Pitt's women's basketball coach
Agnus Berenato won't return to coach the Pitt women's basketball team, the university announced Monday night.
The Panthers struggled mightily the past two seasons, finishing with 0-16 records in the Big East in 2011-12 and 2012-13. Their last regular-season win in conference play was Feb. 15, 2011, against Providence. They finished 9-21 overall this past season.
Berenato's contract runs through 2015-16 after she was given a three-year extension in October 2008. The reward followed the team's first appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Women's Tournament, a trip they would repeat the following year.
She didn't immediately return phone calls to the Tribune-Review on Monday night.
“We thank Agnus for her contributions to the university and wish her only the best in her future pursuits,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson wrote in an emailed statement. “We have high aspirations for Pitt women's basketball and have witnessed the program achieving at impressive levels in the past. As we begin ACC play next season, the time is right for a leadership change in the program.”
Pitt officials said they would not comment beyond Pederson's statement.
Berenato was hired in 2003 and guided the program to three consecutive NCAA Women's Tournament appearances from 2007-09. She went 161-149 (.519) overall and 64-111 (.366) in Big East play at Pitt.
As the Panthers were again struggling in mid-February, Berenato was resigned to the fact her job security was out of her hands.
“I truly believe that ... I am the exact same coach now as I was when we went to the Sweet 16 or won the WNIT championship (when I coached) at Georgia Tech — just older,” Berenato said at the time. “But I feel, in my age, I've gained more wisdom, and I've softened up.”
In 2003, Berenato inherited a team that had won 10 Big East games the previous three years combined.
But by the 2005-06 season, she had led Pitt to its first winning record in Big East play (10-8) since 1994-95, and they advanced to the WNIT semifinals.
During the 2006-07 season, Pitt earned its first ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 poll since 1979 and went the NCAA Women's Tournament for the first time.
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.
- Pitt offensive tackle Jones-Smith to miss season
- Pitt’s Boyd waives right to preliminary hearing
- Pitt star Conner befriends ailing Erie boy
- Pitt’s new athletic director Barnes looks to boost interest in teams
- Pitt’s Voytik to learn from the pros at Manning Passing Academy
- 2 Pitt guards have successful surgery
- Pitt lands 4-star receiver from Ohio