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Pitt sending 'heavy hitters' for Club event

| Saturday, April 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Suzie McConnell-Serio speaks to the media after being named the Pitt women's basketball coach Friday, April 12, 2013, at Petersen Events Center.
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Pitt coach Jamie Dixon smiles during a game March 19, 2011, at Verizon Center in Washington.

The last few times the Mon Valley Panther Club held events locally for Pitt fans, there were grumblings that the university didn't send any of its “heavy hitters” to meet the local fans.

Well, Pitt fans should certainly feel fulfilled April 30 when the Panther Club holds Night With the Panthers at the Willow Room.

That's because new Pitt women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, as well as newly extended men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon will both be on hand for the event.

Also slated to attend are several Pitt assistant football coaches, including offensive coordinator at Belle Vernon Area product Joe Rudolph.

“With all of the busy schedules our coaches have, it is tough to get them all in the same room on the same night for one event,” said Panther Club Development Coordinator Mike Dinnaddio. “But I do the best I can and this event filled out rather nicely.”

McConnell-Serio, who was hired last week from Duquesne University, was just confirmed for the event to Dinnaddio on Friday.

“She is one that people will probably want to talk to and be excited to see,” Dinnaddio said.

Also set to appear are Pitt grid assistants Jim Hueber and John Palermo, track coach Alonzo Webb, men's soccer coach Joe Luxbacher, Pitt Senior Associate Athletic Director Donna Sanft and retiring wrestling coach Rande Stottlemyer.

Also scheduled to attend are Pitt wrestling brothers Donnie and P.J. Tasser, also BVA alums.

Night With the Panthers will run from 6-8 p.m. and include hot and cold hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.

The Chapter Person of the Year Award winner will be announced at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the event cost $30 and RSVP is required by Tuesday.

Dinnaddio said Night With the Panthers is open to all Pitt fans, not just university donors.

“Anyone is welcome to come and meet our coaches,” he said.

To get tickets or to get more information, contact John Zunic (724-929-4463), Dr. Randy Rodriguez (724-258-4440) or Bill Aubrey (724-483-4849).

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or

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