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May 3, 2013

The rumors of Barry Rohrssen’s return have been swirling for a couple of weeks. To be honest, it has been hard to separate fact from wishful thinking that has been put out there. But it seems that Jamie Dixon is indeed bringing back Slice.

Sources confirmed Thursday night that Barry “Slice” Rohrssen will rejoin Dixon’s staff as an assistant coach, replacing Pat Sandle, an original member of Dixon’s staff who spent the past decade with the program.

That detail is surprising. Sandle first started with Pitt in 1999 under Ben Howland. The LA native left for a couple years to be an assistant at UCLA under Lavin. Of course, Lavin was fired by UCLA who hired Howland and Sandle was not retained. And when Dixon became the Pitt head coach, he hired Sandle.

Most people — including myself — figured that if Dixon made a change on staff, it would be with Bill Barton. His recruiting has been lackluster, and no one exactly raves about his abilities as an X’s-and-O’s guy.

Sandle didn’t do much (any?) recruiting. At least not going out on the road. Generally not a big deal since only two assistants can be out at a time. Plenty of coaches employ one coach who is more of a strategy, scouting and X-and-O guy. Billy Donovan, Jim Calhoun and Jim Boeheim immediately spring to my mind as the most prominent head coaches who did that.

Sandle emphasized the defense, and coached the frontcourt. You look at the development of players like Wanamaker, Fields, Woodall, Patterson among others and you have to give credit to Sandle. Presumably the frontcourt responsibilities will fall more to Brandin Knight.

So letting go of Sandle is a big change. Potentially bigger than bringing back Rohrssen.

Rohrssen was a member of Pitt’s staff from 2001-06, serving under Dixon and Ben Howland. He was Dixon’s associate head coach from 2004-06 before accepting the head coaching job at Manhattan.

Rohrssen did not fare well as a head coach. He recruited well enough, but did not win. He spent last year as an assistant with the Portland Trailblazers’ D-League team. He connected well with the players and staff.

The hiring of Rohrssen hopefully suggests that there was more money for paying assistants in the recent extension of Dixon’s contract. It is no secret that Pitt — historically — does not do a very good job of paying assistants. Head coaches usually have to fight the administration for more money to pay assistants. (Oh, and for the love of god, please don’t turn this into a “It’s all Steve Pederson’s fault” thread. This was an issue when Jeff Long was in charge. It was an issue before Pederson. It is an administrative issue at Pitt that goes beyond the AD.)

Obviously there are a ton of open scholarships to fill. This move, now, suggests that the focus is really shifting to the 2014 and even 2015 classes at this point. Not that Dixon and the staff have given up on finding more help for the coming season. It is just that the available players that can provide immediate help has gotten small.

Allthough, after perusing, I do see you actually started out with “some of you guys are laughable”. LOL

Comment by Dan 05.07.13 @ 9:59 pm

Avg ticket price over a 20 year period is assumed to be around 140 dollars.

This takes into account the price of the ticket and annual donation. Bleacher seats would be roughly 20 dollars per ticket and no required annual donation. Premium and priority seating with chairbacks would run about 50 dollars blended per ticket…flexes by yard line, and an annual donation of 500 dollars. Suites and boxes are paid for by annual license fees. That runs everyone in those suites about 600 per game…but a corporation pays for it.

Other revenues are generated through naming rights, advertising and sponsorships, merchandise sales, concessions, parking, office rentals, dorm room rent, other non gameday income.

Pitt breaks even by year 17. And the facility is built to last well over 50 years.

This project pays for itself. However we would need to raise nearly 300 million through private donations over a ten year period. That is roughly 50 dollars per year over ten for every Pitt fan…600k of them. But support would also come from non fans since its not just a stadium idea.

Comment by TX Panther 05.08.13 @ 6:10 am

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