Share This Page

Ex-assistant: Berenato rejuvenated Pitt program

| Tuesday, April 2, 2013, 11:24 p.m.
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Former Pitt coach Agnus Berenato is 444-413 in her career. (AP)

Jeff Williams was an assistant to Agnus Berenato at Georgia Tech and then at Pitt before leaving to become head coach at La Salle three years ago.

On Tuesday, he said he was sorry to learn that Pitt let Berenato go after back-to-back winless seasons in Big East play.

“I think Agnus did a tremendous job rejuvenating the program and putting Pitt back on the map, so to speak,” he said. “It's tough. You don't want to see that happen, especially to someone you care about. But it's a business decision, and I know she'll do well moving forward.”

Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson declined to answer questions about the decision, announced late Monday night.

The search for a coach begins immediately.

ESPN analyst Krista Blunk said with the impending move to the ACC, the time was right to make a change.

“For me, in that program, I believe you need somebody who wants to get the community behind it and has local ties and really understands the city, the program and the school,” Blunk said. “I think it'd be great to get someone that people know and want to back and support.”

Suzie McConnell-Serio fits that description, although she is under contract at Duquesne through 2017-18. McConnell-Serio declined to comment Tuesday.

Kenny Kallina of Florida Girls Basketball recently named McConnell-Serio one of the top mid-major coaches in the country and her assistant, Dan Burt, one of the top mid-major assistants. Former Pitt assistant Yolett McPhee-McCuin, who left the Panthers a month after Williams to take a similar post at Clemson, is on his list of top Division I assistants. So is Connecticut's Shea Ralph, who was part of Berenato's inaugural staff from 2003 until going to the Huskies in 2008.

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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.