Luxbacher retires after 32 seasons as Pitt men’s soccer head coach


Pitt men's soccer coach Joe Luxbacher retires after 32 years with the Panthers. Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics

By Dan Sostek / Sports Editor

Pitt men’s soccer head coach Joe Luxbacher is retiring after 32 years as head coach, the University announced Tuesday.

Luxbacher is only the second coach in the program’s history and a two-time Big East Coach of the Year. He compiled a 224-267-69 record during his career at Pitt, highlighted by a 2000 season in which the team garnered 13 wins and earned a No. 7 national ranking. The University said the search for Luxbacher’s successor will begin immediately.

“I’ve enjoyed many great experiences, met many fine people and made lifelong friendships with many individuals, both within and also outside of the athletic department,” Luxbacher said in a release. “As a college soccer coach, I’ve worked with many outstanding young men over years and hope that, in some way, I’ve had a positive impact on them.”

While Luxbacher’s career at Pitt holds a history of success, the Pitt men’s soccer team has not compiled a winning season since 2000. Luxbacher compiled a 67-144-31 record over his final 14 seasons at Pitt. The team hasn’t won a conference game since 2011.

At the start of the season, he said they’ve faced extremely high competition during the span.

“The Big East and the ACC have been the top two conferences in the country over the past 15 years,” Luxbacher said. “[The ACC] is the highest level we’ve played against for sure”

Regardless, Luxbacher is still the winningest and longest tenured men’s soccer coach in program history. He also played for the Panthers from 1970 to 1973 and holds the program records for both career goals and points, 37 and 84, respectively.

He graduated from Pitt in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and received his masters in health, physical education and recreation in 1978. Luxbacher earned a doctorate in administration of physical education and athletics in 1985.

Luxbacher, 64, said he hopes to further other pursuits after walking away from his coaching post.

“While I enjoy coaching and love the sport, I also have many other interests outside of soccer,” Luxbacher said in the release. “Coaching at the collegiate level can be an all-consuming job, and I simply feel that this is the right time to turn the page and pursue some of my other varied interests.”

Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes praised the departing coach’s tenure at Pitt.

“Joe leaves a wonderful legacy at the University of Pittsburgh,” Barnes said in the release. “Using his own experience as a Pitt student-athlete, he has impacted countless lives on and off the field. He is a lifelong Panther, and for that we are eternally grateful.”

Luxbacher said he plans on staying involved in soccer although “not primarily as the coach of a team.”

He also expressed his thanks toward the Pitt athletic department and wished the program future success.

“[The athletic department] made my job even more enjoyable,” Luxbacher said in the release. “Pitt has a great team of coaches in place, a talented and committed group of women and men. I wish them much success and plan to follow their achievements going forward.”

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