Kevin Stallings, who coached at Vanderbilt for 17 seasons and led the Commodores to a pair of Sweet 16s, was named head coach at Pitt in March.
Stallings, with nine NCAA Tournament appearances in his career, will try to win a lot of games at Pitt, but he wants to help his players off the court as well.
“Well, there’s no question they’re here to get an education first,” Stallings said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “We were every fortunate. We had a great academic set-up at Vanderbilt, great academic support. In the 17 years I was there, we never had a guy that played as a senior that didn’t get his degree, so every one of our guys that got to be seniors graduated. That is absolutely the plan here. It would be unfathomable for a kid to leave here and to play ball here for four years and not have his degree. If that were to happen, I would consider it a complete failure on my part to help that kid do what he should do.”
Stallings replaces Jamie Dixon, who will coach at his alma mater, TCU, next season. Dixon spent 13 years at Pitt, leading the Panthers to a 21-11 record this past year. The Panthers, who started the year 15-2, lost 10 of their final 16 games, bowing out to Wisconsin, 47-43, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Vanderbilt went 19-14 this season, losing to Wichita State, 70-50, in the NCAA First Four.