The Pittsburgh Panthers have reportedly found their successor to Jamie Dixon.
Citing sources, ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported on Sunday morning that Vanderbilt Commodores head coach Kevin Stallings agreed to a six-year contract with Pitt to become the school's new head basketball coach after Dixon bolted for Texas Christian University.
NBC Sports' Rob Dauster, citing a source, reported, "Stallings has called his players and informed them that he's taken the Pitt job." CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein first reported Saturday that Stallings was expected to accept the Panthers' offer.
Stallings spent 17 seasons at Vanderbilt, leading the Commodores to seven NCAA tournament appearances and a Southeastern Conference tournament championship to cap off the 2011-12 regular season.
However, Vanderbilt was never able to make a deep run in March with Stallings at the helm. Despite qualifying for the Big Dance seven times, the Commodores made just two regional semifinals (2004 and 2007) and bowed out in the first round on just as many occasions (2008 and 2010).
Disappointment was the name of the game during the 2015-16 season, as well. Although Vanderbilt ranked 18th in the Associated Press preseason poll, according to Sports-Reference.com, Stallings led his squad to a meager 19-14 record despite touting talents such as Wade Baldwin IV and Damian Jones.
The Commodores went on to lose in the NCAA tournament's First Four to the Wichita State Shockers, who ultimately qualified for the Big Dance as a No. 11 seed and downed the No. 6-seeded Arizona Wildcats in the first round.
Now heading to Pittsburgh, Stallings will try to propel the Panthers back into the Sweet 16 for the first time in more than half a decade. According to Sports-Reference.com, Pitt hasn't advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament since it lost to the Villanova Wildcats in a 2009 East Regional final.
Stallings has big shoes to fill considering Dixon led Pittsburgh to No. 1 in the AP poll during the 2008-09 campaign and routinely had the Panthers playing competitive ball in the Big East before making the move to the ACC, but Stallings' extensive track record should make the transition a fairly seamless one as the western Pennsylvania program gets set to tip off a new era.
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