PITTSBURGH — Pitt’s fall sports media day on Wednesday was capped off by an appearance from athletic director Heather Lyke.
Lyke spoke at length about the challenges that face Pitt’s 16 non-revenue sports teams and her desire to compete for ACC and national championships.
But the Panthers seem a long way off from those lofty goals in most places. Pitt has never won an NCAA-sanctioned national title in any team event and the move to the ACC in 2011 hasn’t made the hunt for that glory any easier.
One of the areas that Lyke would see improved is the facilities for non-revenue sports. She said that 85 percent of the school’s student-athletes train, practice or play on top of the hill on campus at the Cost Sports Center, Fitzgerald Field House, Petersen Sports Complex
and Trees Hall and Pool.
The Cost Center opened in 1990, Trees Hall in 1962 and the Field House in 1951. Those facilities are at the top of the list when it comes to places that the Panthers could make upgrades.
“We are in the middle of that process right now,” Lyke said. “There’s a very clear vision for where we need to be from a facilities standpoint for those particular teams.”
Included in that process is reconfiguring a facilities master plan that was developed by her predecessor, Scott Barnes. This is the second time that Lyke has expressed her desire to remake Pitt’s on-campus athletic facilities into something that’s more competitive in the ACC and regionally.
Lyke also has some creative ideas about how to get the entire athletic department behind each and every team and seems to be dedicated to making all-sport success a hallmark of her tenure.
You can see Lyke’s full remarks here: