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Coaching Change Follows More Transfer Requests, Investigation into McConnell-Serio’s Practices

Coaching Change Follows More Transfer Requests, Investigation into McConnell-Serio’s Practices

The firing of Pitt women’s basketball head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio comes after serious allegations into her coaching practices surfaced following the 2017-18 season, sources tell Pittsburgh Sports Now.

McConnell-Serio, whose firing was announced by athletic director Heather Lyke on Thursday, had completed her fifth season at Pitt with a 2-14 record in ACC play, the worst since her arrival in Oakland.

Sources tell PSN that following the season, at least three key players on the team — point guard Aysia Bugg and forwards Yacine Diop and Kalista Walters — had requested, and in at least one case, had received, their release from the program.

The transfers had become something of a trend for the program. Leading scorer and rebounder Brenna Wise transferred to Indiana after the 2016-17 season. After the 2015-16 season, leading 3-point shooter Fred Potvin and leading scorer Stasha Carey both transferred.

More concerning were allegations by some players of verbal abuse that the school found credible enough to investigate by bringing in an outside firm to look into those claims. It’s not known what the results of that investigation were or if McConnell-Serio’s firing was related to that investigation.

McConnell-Serio was under contract through the 2020-21 season and it’s believed she is owed a considerable buyout. Pitt is already paying the buyout of former men’s basketball head coach Kevin Stallings.

The university declined to comment beyond Lyke’s statement at this time. Stay with PSN for more on this developing story.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker

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