The City of Pittsburgh will honor Pitt men’s basketball great Sam Clancy with a celebration and a street naming, the university released in a press release on Tuesday.
City Council will declare Saturday, June 24 as “Sam Clancy Day” in the City of Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The Council will read a proclamation on Wednesday Downtown at the City Council Building (Fifth Floor, 414 Grant Street).
The City will also unveil a street sign this Saturday, honoring Clancy at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Roberts Street in the Crawford-Roberts neighborhood in the Hill District.
The celebration will include various food trucks, music and will go on through to 3:30 p.m. Mayor Ed Gainey, Councilman Reverend Daniel Lavelle along with Eugene Khorey, the first principal of Brashear High School, located in the Beechview neighborhood of the city, will speak at the ceremony honoring Clancy at 11:30 a.m.
Clancy grew up in the Hill District and starred at Fifth Avenue High School in the area, leading the team to a state championship in 1976. When Fifth Avenue closed that year, Clancy played for the newly opened Brashear High School as a senior and joined their first ever graduating class.
He would then go on to play for Pitt from 1977-81. Clancy starred at the collegiate level, averaging 14.4 points and 11.6 rebounds per game, an impressive double-double. He is still the only Pitt player to score more than 1,000 points (1,671) and grab more than 1,000 rebounds in a career and his 66 career double-doubles are also the most in Pitt history. Clancy leads the program all-time with 1,362 rebounds and his 170 blocks are fourth most in Pitt history.
Clancy earned three-time All-Eastern 8 selections and also played for the U.S. team in the 1979 Pan American Games, winning a gold medal.
The Panthers succeeded as a team during Clancy’s time with the program. This includes four winning seasons, the 1981 Eastern 8 Tournament Championship and appearances in the 1980 NIT Tournament as a junior and the 1981 NCAA Tournament as a senior.
Clancy then saw himself earn two draft selections from two different sport leagues. The Phoenix Suns of the NBA drafted him in with the 16th pick in the Third Round of the 1981 Draft and Seattle Seahawks of the NFL drafted him No. 284 overall in the 11th round of the 1982 Draft, despite him never playing collegiate football.
He played one season for the Billings Volcanos in the Continental Basketball Association, where he averaged 11.5 points and 8.3 rebounds before choosing football for the rest of his career.
Clancy started on defensive end for the Seahawks from 1982-83, before joining the Pittsburgh Maulers in the new USFL in 1984. He then played one season for the Memphis Showboats before returning to the NFL with the Cleveland Browns from 1985-88 and the Indianapolis Colts from 1989-93.
Former Pitt player, Marty Schottenheimer, served as head coach of the Browns when Clancy played for them. They achieved great things together, with four playoff appearances, three AFC Central Division Titles and two AFC Championship Games.
Clancy finished his time in the NFL with 227 tackles, 30 sacks and seven fumble recoveries. He would serve as defensive line coach for the Barcelona Dragons in NFL Europe, winning the 1997 World Bowl. He also coached defense in different capacities for the Oakland Raiders and the New Orleans Saints.
He returned back to Pitt in 2005 and earned a bachelor’s degree in social sciences. Clancy worked as a football strength and conditioning assistant for three seasons before he chose to transition to the administrative side at the university. He is in his 14th year as Director of the Varsity Letter Club, where he works with alumni and connecting them with current student-athletes at Pitt.