According to ESPN, Stallings confirmed that he informed his players that he is taking the Pitt job.
Stallings led Vanderbilt into the NCAA Tournament, but was defeated by Wichita State in the First Four. There was speculation that Vanderbilt was expected to sever ties with Stallings, but Stallings found another job before that could happen.
Barnes reached out to several candidates, but was spurned by the likes of Sean Miller, Archie Miller and former Pitt head coach Ben Howland. Other names like Bryce Drew, Andy Enfield and Mike Lonergan were linked to having interviews for the job. Current Pitt assistant Brandon Knight was also said to have interviewed but it was quickly reported that he was not a serious candidate.
Former Vanderbilt athletic director Todd Turner, who hired Stallings, now runs a search firm called Collegiate Sports Associates that has been retained by Pittsburgh to help with the search.
Stallings was 332-220 with seven NCAA tournament appearances in 17 years with the Commodores.
He inherits a Pitt team that has talent in place and returns six of its top seven scorers, including the likes of Michael Young, an All-ACC Third Team member, and Jamel Artis.
One interesting storyline to follow with the hiring of Stallings will be his relationship with current Pitt forward Sheldon Jeter. It was Stallings who tried to block Jeter’s transfer from Vanderbilt to Pitt a couple years ago.
Stallings’ son Jacob is a catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.
Judging by the initial reaction on social media, the Stallings hire is not going to be a popular one among Panthers fans.
Photo Credit: USA Today Sports