The Pitt News

The life and times of ROC the mascot

Panthers’ mascot ROC dances on Heinz Field during Pitt’s game against Georgia Tech Sept. 15, 2018.

By Ben Zimmer, Staff Writer

October 4, 2018

ROC, a human-sized bipedal Panther, has been at the center of Pitt athletics for more than a century now, bouncing around the field, waving his arms and entertaining fans with his goofy antics and unassailable school spirit.

Touching me, touching you: The story behind ‘Sweet Caroline’ at Pitt

Panther Pitt fans cheer “Let’s go Pitt” while “Sweet Caroline” played during Pitt’s game against Georgia Tech Sept. 15.

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

October 4, 2018

Just like any great idea Pitt students have, the school’s most beloved tradition of singing “Sweet Caroline” was born at Hemingway’s Cafe, in 2008.

Panther Spotlight: Qadree Ollison, Stephanie Williams, Johan Penaranda

Redshirt senior running back Qadree Ollison (30) celebrates after running for Pitt's first touchdown against Georgia Tech Sept. 15.

By Griffin Floyd, For the Pitt News

September 25, 2018

Though it was a tough weekend for Pitt athletics, there were still a few athletes that played at a high-level and stood out. Qadree Ollison, Stephanie Williams and Johan Penaranda all made notable plays in their notable sports this past weekend -- showcasing their athletic ability.

Athletic trainers find balance between sports and medicine

(From left) Pitt athletic trainer Jennifer Csonka, Pitt's senior associate athletic director for sports medicine Jennifer Brown and Pitt wrestling trainer Brian Bonnar.

By Ben Zimmer, Staff Writer

September 17, 2018

For athletic trainers like Jennifer Csonka, the career path was the perfect balance between sports and medicine. Whether on the field or off the field, Pitt's athletic trainers are at every game, ready to take on any injuries whenever they occur.

Nika Markovic: Slovenian student serves success

Junior Nika Markovic started playing volleyball at the age of 7 and was named to the All-ACC First Team, AVCA All-East Coast Region First Team and was given an AVCA All-American Honorable Mention in 2017.

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

September 14, 2018

When Nika Markovic decommitted from the University of San Francisco, she had no idea she would end up at Pitt. Born in Braslovce, Slovenia, Markovic began playing volleyball at the age of 7. No-one - not even her - thought volleyball would be her sport.

Behind the scenes of Pitt SID’s

(From left) Assistant director for media relations R.J. Sepich, media relations assistant Matt Keenan and Casey Bonk, assistant director of media relations for volleyball, gymnastics and softball.

By Stephen Thompson, For the Pitt News

September 13, 2018

Student information directors, or SIDs, at Pitt act as team-specific media liaisons, statistics managers, beat writers and team promoters.

House divided: The Yahner Family

(From left to right) Pierce, Joel’s girlfriend Kati Fischer, Joel, Reese and Gavin Yahner sit in the stands at Heinz Field.

By Tessa Sayers, Staff Writer

September 6, 2018

The Pitt versus Penn State football matchup provides great action, but its implications go beyond the playing field. With the universities being two of the top three largest in the state, the rivalry often crosses family lines as members differ in school choice. The Yahners exemplify this house divided.

Dance group exhibits Controlled Chaos

The hip-hop ensemble Controlled Chaos poses in black and denim outfits for a photoshoot. The group currently has 10 full-time members. (Photo courtesy of Mia Krawczel)

By Alexa Marzina, Staff Writer

August 30, 2018

Controlled Chaos is an on-campus dance group that explores several styles of hip-hop. The group is open to all students on campus, and holds several performances throughout the year.

A night at The Priory

Gary Jackson, from Baldwin, recovers in the makeshift locker rooms in the basement of Priory Hall after losing his amateur boxing match. (Photo by Theodore Schwarz | Staff Photographer)

By Grant Burgman | News Editor

May 30, 2018

The ballroom of the Priory Grand Hall, a small hotel in the historic Pittsburgh neighborhood of Deutschtown, is actually a converted church — but last Friday it became a boxing ring. A red-matted ring bordered by red and blue ropes sat in the center of the ballroom, hit directly by the fading ev...

Randy Waldrum brings change, experience to Pitt women’s soccer

Randy Waldrum will come to Pitt as one of the winningest head coaches in women’s collegiate history with almost 400 wins. (Photo via Pitt Athletics)

By Dominic Campbell | Staff Writer

April 3, 2018

For a team that won just three games last year, hiring one of the most successful women’s soccer coaches in the country might seem unlikely. But that’s just what athletic director Heather Lyke announced in December with the hiring of Randy Waldrum to lead the struggling program. Waldrum has been coaching soccer for the last 30 years. He comes to Pitt as one of the winningest head coaches ...

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