It was a busy couple of weeks for Pitt athletics, as the spring teams’ seasons come to a close and the football team had players up for the NFL draft. Here’s a rundown of everything that you might have missed since the spring semester ended.
The Pitt football program had five players selected in this year’s NFL draft — the most in six years. In the third round, the Steelers selected running back James Conner as the first Panther off the board. The Cardinals took offensive lineman Dorian Johnson in the fourth round, and he was quickly followed in the fifth when the Bills selected quarterback Nathan Peterman. In the late rounds, the Giants and Rams selected offensive lineman Adam Bisnowaty and defensive end Ejuan Price, respectively.
After the draft, NFL teams picked up seven more players in post-draft free agency, bringing the total number of Panthers signed to NFL teams to 12.
The transformation of the Pitt basketball roster continued in May with the transfer of fan-favorite center Rozelle Nix. The team now has just three players from last year’s team — forward Ryan Luther and guards Jonathan Milligan and Zach Smith.
Two other players — St. John’s transfer Malik Ellison and 6-foot-4 guard Khameron Davis — committed to the team, leaving four open spots in the 2017 recruiting class.
Head coach Kevin Stallings also added two assistant coaches — former Monmouth assistant Sam Ferry and NBA Development League coach Matt Woodley.
The women’s basketball program also added to its recruiting class, signing 5-foot-11 guard Kyla Nelson. The England native played for Oaklands College in Hertfordshire this past season and averaged 16.1 points and 3.7 rebounds. This recruiting class is especially important for head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, who is trying to rebound from a 13-17 season and the loss of sophomore forward Brenna Wise.
Head coach Joe Jordano and the Pitt baseball team took advantage of a weak schedule at the start of May, taking four of five against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Maryland Eastern Shore.
Going into its weekend series at Georgia Tech, the team sat at .500. But the Yellow Jackets swept the Panthers who lost two one-run games before losing 5-2 on Monday.
The Pitt softball team concluded its season in Atlanta, Georgia with a weekend series against Georgia Tech. Pitt lost two out of the three contests to finish the year at 24-23. The highlight of the series was a game-winning three-run home run by junior Giorgiana Zeremenko on Sunday.
Despite the winning résumé, the team failed to qualify for the ACC Tournament due to a 7-16 conference record.
Track and Field
The Panthers’ track and field team competed at both the Penn Relays and Ashland Open last weekend, taking home wins at each meet.
At the Penn Relays, the men’s 4×800 team — made up of first-year Drew Glick, sophomore Matt McGoey and juniors Billy Caldwell and Nate Sloan — won first place with a time of 7:28.66. Junior Andin Fosam performed well at the Ashland Open, winning the hammer throw with a distance of 60.43 meters.
Veteran head coach Debbie Yohman retired following a 31-year run with the Panthers. Yohman lead the team to 20 NCAA Regionals and coached over 130 All-East Atlantic Gymnastics League athletes. She was just the second coach in the program’s history, initially taking over in 1986.