Pitt hires UMass's Tory Verdi as next women's basketball coach

Tory Verdi was named head coach of the Pittsburgh Panthers women's basketball team Friday. He comes to Pitt after seven seasons with the UMass Minutewomen, who were Atlantic 10 regular-season co-champions this year.

Verdi previously was head coach of the Eastern Michigan Eagles, and before that was an assistant with the Kansas Jayhawks and Nebraska Cornhuskers. A Connecticut native, Verdi also worked with the WNBA's Connecticut Sun from 2003 to 2005.

Verdi led UMass to NCAA tournament in 2022, and the Minutewomen played in the WNIT this season after losing the A-10 tournament final in overtime to the Saint Louis Billikens.

Pitt was 10-20 overall and 3-15 in the ACC this season under Lance White, who was fired after going 42-99 and 11-75 in five years. The Panthers have not had a winning season since 2015, which was also their last NCAA tournament appearance, under then-coach Suzie McConnell-Serio.

Pitt has been to the NCAA tournament just three other times in program history: in 2007, 2008 and 2009 under coach Agnus Berenato. Pitt has had recent success in other women's sports, though, as the Panthers volleyball team has made the final four the past two years in a row.

"It's time to awake the sleeping giant. I know that we will win and win big," Verdi said. "Together, we will move mountains. We will put a product on the floor that our community, city of Pittsburgh and state of Pennsylvania will be proud of. We belong. Change is coming."