Steve Pederson steps down from Pitt athletic director position


Steve Pederson has resigned as Pitt’s athletic director, according to a release on Wednesday evening.

Pederson worked as Pitt’s athletic director from 1996 to 2002, and returned to the school in the same capacity in 2007 after five years as Nebraska’s athletic director. In one of his most noteworthy moves as athletic director, Pederson finalized work in September 2011 to move the school from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Chancellor Patrick Gallagher appointed Randy Juhl, vice chancellor for research conduct and compliance, as Pitt’s interim athletic director. A national search for a permanent replacement is expected to begin immediately.

Gallagher said in the release that the two spoke on Wednesday morning and “mutually agreed that this would be the appropriate time to make a change in the athletic department leadership.”

Pederson expressed similar sentiments.

“With major decisions to be made about the future of football, I thought it was in the best interest of the University of Pittsburgh for Chancellor Gallagher to assemble his own team,” he said in the release.

The announcement came alongside news that head football coach Paul Chryst would be leaving Pitt and accepting the same position at the University of Wisconsin.

Pederson, who was instrumental in the construction of the Petersen Events Center, which opened in 2002, shared his gratitude for his time at Pitt.

“I will miss the daily interaction with our great staff, coaches and student-athletes, but will enjoy watching them accomplish great things,” Pederson said. “To our friends and supporters, thank you for making this a great home for our family.”