Heather Lyke

Josh Rowntree

Pitt AD Heather Lyke Discusses Reasons For Stallings Firing And Choosing Capel

Jeff Capel was the only other person Pitt talked to about the job.

March 28, 2018 - 4:08 pm

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Pitt AD Heather Lyke met with reporters after the official introduction of new Pitt men’s basketball coach Jeff Capel.

Lyke says hiring a head coach is “the most important thing I do as leader of the athletic department.”

While Lyke says Capel is “the perfect fit” for Pitt basketball it wasn’t their first choice. Dan Hurley, who was just announced as UConn’s coach after six years with Rhode Island, was offered the Pitt position last week.

Names like Arizona coach Sean Miller, St. Bonaventure's Mark Schmidt and others were also rumored before Capel was announced.

Lyke says Capel was the only other person they talked to about the job.

Lyke also talked about the firing of Kevin Stallings and that it wasn’t just based on his winless 2017-18 ACC record but also because he wasn’t making progress in other areas.

“It’s not just simply what’s on the court. It’s the total program evaluation. From how they run their budget to how they build relationships with student-athletes to how they connect with the community, alumni, donor relations, academics, compliance, all of the elements of the program.

Lyke adds they didn’t make a decision on Stallings until the end of the season.

“In fairness to our student-athletes to the coaches, who are working hard, it’s not for a lack of work . . . so I think to take that away from them and to make decisions before the end of the season is not right,” said Lyke.