Pat Higgins and Addie Smith | The Duquesne Duke
After a week of speculation and rumors, the University of Pittsburgh has officially signed Suzie McConnell-Serio to a six-year contract to take over as the head coaching position following firing Agnus Berenato on April 1.
The move comes on the heels of McConnell-Serio’s most successful year in her six-year tenure at Duquesne.
Despite previously denying rumors regarding Pitt’s interest, McConnell-Serio said that she had a week to consider her options after initial contact.
She said she was incredibly grateful and excited about the opportunity and the challenges that will come with coaching a team in the ACC on a national stage, and that the job at Pitt was the only position that could have lured her away from Duquesne.
“I probably would’ve never left Duquesne for any other job than this job. This is my home,” she said. “I want to be here [at Pitt]. This is my last job.”
McConnell-Serio sat down with the Duquesne women’s basketball team this morning to inform them of her decision to leave the program.
“The hardest thing I had to do was say goodbye to Duquesne this morning,” she said, forcing back tears at the press conference.
Pitt’s athletic director Steve Pederson said that it was a difficult situation hiring McConnell-Serio from another Pittsburgh school, but that it reflected the success of Duquesne’s program. He also declared her “absolutely the perfect fit.”
McConnell-Serio leaves Duquesne with a 123-68 record and five straight WNIT berths, most recently advancing to the second round of action with a win over Akron last month. The women’s basketball team set a school record with 24 wins this season.
McConnell-Serio also set another school record by leading the team to 11 conference wins and to the brink of an NCAA tournament berth.
According to Assistant Director of Media Relations for Duquesne’s Athletic Department Ryan Gavatorta, Athletic Director Greg Amodio said he will begin a national search for a new coach immediately.