A long-time fixture in the Pitt athletic department and on the playing field has moved on.
Penny Semaia has left his position at Pitt as the associate director for the Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program has accepted a position as the vice president of stadium relations. The Bills new football stadium is currently under construction and Semaia will work closely with Bills vice president of stadium development John Polka and vice president of creative/stadium design Frank Cravotta during the construction phase.
The Life Skills Program is nationally recognized and a lot of that has to do with the work of Semaia so this is a true loss for Pitt.
“Words cannot adequately describe Penny Semaia’s impact at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Athletic Director Heather Lyke. “As a leader, mentor and dear friend, Penny has positively impacted countless lives at Pitt with his ‘high-five and a smile’ approach to work and life. He also coined the phrase ‘Forever Panther’ in describing our passionate athletic alumni.”
“For more than two decades, Penny has inspired student-athletes and staff members alike to be our very best selves. He has a true gift to lift others up and energize a room full of people in a way no one else can match. We wish Penny and his wife Kristian all the best in this great opportunity with the Buffalo Bills that returns them home to their native Upstate New York. And Penny knows he will always be welcomed back as a true ‘Forever Panther.”
Before joining the Pitt athletic department in 2005 as career and life skills coordinator, Semaia was a four-year letterman with Pitt from 2000-03.
Semaia was also the winner of the University of Pittsburgh Chancellor’s Award for Staff Excellence in the Community as well as the Art Ramicone Unsung Hero Award from Pitt’s Division of Student Affairs.