Trial date set for former Pitt strength coach’s suit over alleged age, race discrimination


Image via Wikimedia Commons

A courtroom in the U.S. Courthouse and Post Office on Grant Street in Downtown.

By Betul Tuncer, Assistant News Editor

A trial for former Pitt strength and conditioning coach Tim Beltz’s civil lawsuit against Pitt is set for Oct. 17 at the federal courthouse Downtown.

Beltz, described in the civil complaint as a Caucasian man older than 40 years old, filed a lawsuit in December 2019 for alleged age and race discrimination by the University. He is asking for compensation in the form of wages and benefits he would have received if he had not been terminated, as well as punitive damages and compensation for the cost of litigation from the University.

Pitt spokesperson David Seldin declined to comment, citing pending litigation.

A Pitt Athletics employee from 1999 to 2018, Beltz was reassigned late in his career to work for the women’s basketball program under head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio. Beltz said the reassignment came “at or about the same time” that Kevin Stallings, the men’s basketball coach hired in 2016, brought on Garry Christopher, who remains as strength coach, to handle all men’s basketball training.

Christopher, described in the civil complaint as an African American man in his 20s, had worked with Stallings’ men’s basketball program at Vanderbilt University for three years prior to Stallings’ move to Pittsburgh. Shortly after Beltz’s reassignment, McConnell-Serio was fired and replaced by new head coach Lance White in April 2018.


Tim Beltz, former strength and conditioning coach for the Pitt women’s basketball team.
(Image via the University of Pittsburgh)

Beltz was then informed by Pitt Athletics administrators that he would be terminated at the end of June 2018, and that the women’s basketball program would be free to hire its own strength and conditioning coach. Administrators allegedly told Beltz not to apply for the position, and told him in May that White “wanted to go in a different direction.” White ultimately hired a new coach 20 years younger than Beltz.

Beltz claimed in his civil complaint that following his termination, the University retained all Black strength and conditioning coaches, who are all younger than him. Beltz also outlined numerous complaints concerning Christopher’s work as a coach, regarding the cleanliness of weight rooms, team performance and roster turnover — which he claims administration were indifferent to.