By Sean Ryan
Jordano enters his 15th season as head coach of the Pittsburgh
Panthers, and soon will lead the program into a new chapter as
it becomes part of the ACC. Jordano has a record of 399-331-2 in
14 years at Pitt and is 682-449-2 in 24 years as a collegiate
head coach. He has been a Coach of the Year seven times and is a
member of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. The Panthers
were 33-23 this past season, finishing third in the Big East.
The school set a record with six players selected in the 2011
Coach Jordano took time to answer our questions
about Pitt joining the ACC.
First Inning - When did you first hear the
news and what was your initial reaction?
Due to the confidentiality of the
process, we were not informed until Sunday morning. I was, quite
frankly, stunned. In the ever-changing landscape of college
athletics, you hear speculation, but this move was so quick and
decisive, I believe it caught everyone off-guard.
Second Inning - How have your current players
Our current players took it in stride.
At this point, nothing has changed for them. Once we have a
definite timeline for when we would begin ACC play, I believe
the reality of it will become more clear.
Third Inning - Has the announcement changed
anything with your recruiting for this year's class?
Possibly. The current commitments we
have are from high-caliber players that we believe can compete
at any level. The question will be when will we become
fully-funded. I am sure with how competitive our administration
is, it will provide us with the necessary resources to compete
in the ACC. If we are provided additional funding, our
recruiting class will increase by 3 to 5 players.
Inning - How will it affect recruiting down the road? Will you
still focus on the same areas? Will you recruit the same type of
I believe our footprint for recruiting
will expand. We have met as a staff and have put together a
plan that we feel good about and we will execute that plan over
the next several months. Again, the timeline of when we begin
competing in the ACC will be a big factor in how we proceed. I
feel our recruiting coordinator, Danny Lopaze and assistant
coach Tom Lipari have done a great job identifying the right
type of player for us. We will obviously look to attract the
best possible player we can.
Fifth Inning - How do you think it affects
your scheduling and your budgets? On the surface, trips to
Miami, FSU, Clemson and Georgia Tech would appear to be more
costly than your current Big East trips. Does this concern you
or the school?
I am confident that our leadership
team took all of these factors into consideration in arriving at
this decision. It is an exciting time and we look forward to
Sixth Inning - How does Pittsburgh compete in
one of the top baseball conferences in the country?
I feel we will continue to operate the
program as we have done during my career. We are committed,
equally, to our academic and baseball success. I believe
strongly in my staff and the systems we have in place that
prepare our team for competition each year. We will have to
continue identifying the right player that is committed to being
the best both on and off the field. The ACC is arguably the best
there is in college baseball. We will do everything we can to be
prepared for the day we begin competition.
Seventh Inning - What other challenges does a
move to the ACC present?
The challenges are great. You are
facing great teams that are led by legendary coaches every
weekend. As a club, you had better bring you’re A-game everyday
or look out. As a competitive guy, how could you not want to be
a part of this!
Eighth Inning - What about leaving the Big
East, which has continued to strengthen as a baseball
I have many great friends in the Big
East and have a tremendous amount of respect for every program.
As a group, we fought hard to improve the image of our league
that we knew was very good. The league is in great shape right
now and I am sure the conference will do what it has to do to
continue well into the future. I am focused right now on
preparing my team for a very tough 2012 schedule.
Ninth Inning - What does the move to the ACC
mean for Pittsburgh baseball? What does the future hold?
The ACC is a national-level
conference. Each program begins its year with the goal of going
to Omaha. That is intense. I am very excited to be the skipper
of this program and I look forward to the challenges ahead of
us. I know many of the coaches in the ACC and have enormous
respect for each program in the conference and am anxious to
prepare our program to compete among the best.
(photos courtesy of Pittsburgh Media Relations Office)