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Off the

Field P l ay b o o k


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Letter from Pitt Student-Athletes Academic Excellence Panthers in the Community Life Skills and Leadership Non-Profit Partnerships Sincere Thanks

Letter from the Athletic Director Dear Pitt Panther Supporters, We are proud to share with you a recap of the highlights and successes of our Pitt studentathletes. We are confident that you will share in the pride our department has in each and every one of our student-athletes. We are constantly impressed by our student-athletes, not only for their efforts on the field and in the classroom, but also as role models on campus and in the community. Our studentathletes are the backbone of what makes our program special, reaching an impressive level of academic success, with 350 achieving “scholar-athlete� status this past year. In addition to their work in the classroom, our student-athletes were highly active and visible in the community, dedicating nearly 3,000 hours of community service to over 40 community service projects in a variety of neighborhoods in Pittsburgh. Pitt is a special place and its student-athletes are truly remarkable people. These achievements are merely the start of what will be an exciting future for Pitt Athletics as we enter our inaugural year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Hail to Pitt! Sincerely,

Steve Pederson Athletic Director


Off the

Field P l ay b o o k

Letter from Pitt Student-Athletes

Pitt student-athletes are blessed to have the best fan and alumni support in the nation. It is easy to represent this great University and the City of Pittsburgh with pride when we are surrounded by the enthusiastic backing of such an amazing group of people. As Pitt student-athletes we expect to compete at the highest level in our sport and we want our results in the classroom to be off the charts. Our big aspirations are matched by an even bigger work ethic. Nothing great is ever accomplished without hard work and the people of Pittsburgh truly exemplify hard work and discipline. As student-athletes we work hard every day to get better in our sport and to become better people. It is impossible to achieve our goals without the support and resources we are provided annually. Such resources, which include our alumni, the University, and the Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program, provide us with countless opportunities to be successful both on and off the field. From personal development to community service and beyond, we feel confident in our preparation for success during and after our college experience. The guidance we receive from our coaches, academic counselors, professors, and athletic department staff has enabled us to develop and grow academically, athletically, and socially. We are excited about the future and look forward to making an impact in the Atlantic Coast Conference! On behalf of all Pitt student-athletes, we would like to share with you some of the highlights and successes from 2012-13. Hail to Pitt! Sincerely,

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Maya Ketner Women’s Gymnastics

PJ Tasser Men’s Wrestling

Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT • 26 members of the Pitt football team were named to the Big East All-Academic Team. • Four gymnasts were named to the EAGL All-Academic Team (including four-time honoree – Lisa Taylor). • Three members of the women’s tennis team achieved the ITA Scholar-Athlete award and the team earned the ITA All-Academic Team Award. • Women’s swimming and diving earned its 13th consecutive All-Academic distinction, while two women and five men garnered CSCAA Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention All-American accolades. • Anthony Defabio was named Second Team Academic All-American and All-District First Team Baseball Team. • Six wrestlers were mentioned on the EWL Academic Recognition List. • Jonnique Lawrence of the women’s track and field team was named an American Eagle Outfitters Conference Institutional Female Scholar-Athlete. • Adam Maczewski of men’s swimming and diving was named an American Eagle Outfitters Conference Institutional Male Scholar-Athlete. • All Pitt teams emphatically exceed the NCAA’s academic progress rate target minimum score of a 930. • Men’s basketball ranks in the top 30% of Division I with a score of 975. • Women’s basketball was publicly recognized as being in the top 10% of their sport with a score of 995. • Football ranks in the top 40% of Division I with a score of 962.

Academic Excellence

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Academic

Excellence

BLUE-GOLD Award

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The Blue-Gold Award is presented to the graduating male and female studentathletes who have demonstrated the best combination of academic scholarship, athletic achievement, leadership qualities, community service and citizenship. The BlueGold awardees were Elizabeth Kline (track and field), Zac Thomusseit (wrestling) and Adam Maczewski (swimming). Pictured here with their head coaches.

Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


PANTHER Award

This award is presented to the graduating senior student-athletes who have promoted Pitt Athletics through their outstanding athletic achievements. Seniors honored with either the Blue-Gold or Panther Awards are added to the Varsity Walk on Pitt’s campus located between the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel.

The 2013 Panther Awards were presented to wrestling student-athlete, Matt Wilps and track and field studentathlete, Jonnique Lawrence (pictured here with their head coaches).

David Sandberg Award Football student-athlete, Chris Jacobson was the recipient of the David Sandberg Champion Award. The David Sandberg Champion Award was founded in 2003 in memory of the former Pitt wrestler and assistant coach. The award is given to a senior student-athlete that exemplifies the qualities that Sandberg embraced – a dedication to academic and athletic excellence, with an unyielding spirit and passionate commitment to the improvement of the University of Pittsburgh and its surrounding communities.

Academic Excellence

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Academic

Excellence

Pitt Honors its Senior Studentathletes

Every year since 1950, the University has recognized male and female student-athletes as recipients of the Blue-Gold and Panther Awards. These honorees have their names engraved in the stone that makes up the Varsity Walk, adjacent to Pitt’s Cathedral of Learning. (Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth Kline (track and field), Jonnique Lawrence (track and field), Matt Wilps (wrestling), Adam Maczewski (swimming), and Zac Thomusseit (wrestling).

Seniors of Distinction At the senior awards banquet, Pitt’s Seniors of Distinction were recognized. This is an honor awarded to varsity student-athletes who have made outstanding contributions in the athletic arena. This year’s nine honorees were: Margy Acton (volleyball), Joanna Budzis (swimming and diving), Ray Graham (football) not pictured, Kelsey Herbst (swimming and diving), Hussein Medhat Mohamed (swimming and diving), Mike Shanahan (football), Holly Stevens (softball), Andrew Taglianetti (football), and Travon Woodall (men’s basketball).

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


ANNUAL

Scholar-Athlete

BREAKFAST

Academic Excellence

Pitt Scholar-Athletes were honored and recognized for their outstanding academic achievements by the Pitt Alumni Association. Pitt Alumni Association President, Jeffrey Kondis, was among the special guests. In total, 189 student-athletes accumulated a GPA of 3.0-3.49, while another 145 individuals earned a 3.5-3.99, and 16 students achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA.

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Panthers

in the

Community

The women’s soccer team participated in a

Community

TREE

Planting

community tree planting initiative in various neighborhoods throughout the Pittsburgh region. This initiative was in partnership with Tree Pittsburgh, an environmental non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the City’s vitality.

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


Panthers in the Community

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Panthers

in the

Community

SPECIAL

Olympics

The Pitt swimming and diving team hosted its Ninth annual Special Olympics Meet at Trees Pool on Pitt’s campus. Members of the Panther swim team were responsible for meet setup, registration, running the timing system, officiating, lifeguarding, assisting swimmers and acting as timers.

Read Across America Held on the birthday of famed children’s author, Theodor “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, Pitt student-athletes share their favorite books with elementary students in the Pittsburgh area.

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


Helping in

HAITI

Sixteen Pitt student-athletes and two representatives from Pitt’s Coalition for Christian Outreach traveled to Cap Haitien, Haiti, to help serve at the EBAC Orphanage. Their experience was captured in the powerful photos displayed below.

Danielle Benner (women’s soccer) Mike Caprara (football) Tiara Chadran (gymnastics) Hillary Doucette (cross country) Mark Giubilato (football) Bri Hogan (gymnastics) Katie Lippert (women’s soccer) Ryan McKenzie (men’s soccer) Alyssa Meier (women’s soccer) Dan Prete (men’s soccer) Morgan Sharick (women’s soccer) Alec Sheaffer (swimming and diving) Devin Street (football) Joe Trebitz (football) Leigh Waltz (swimming and diving) Tyler Wilps (wrestling)

“We came across a little girl and her mother. She had no pants and no shoes. And I had a pair of nice gold sandals meant for a girl, with jewels on them, in my bag. We gave her the shoes and they fit her perfectly; they were meant for her.” – Devin Street

Football Student-Athlete

Panthers in the Community

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Panthers

in the

Community

Children’s hospital Honorary

captain program

Children’s Hospital patients and families were invited to attend all home football games and select men’s and women’s basketball games, as honorary team captains. Honorary captains and their families received complimentary tickets to the game and participated in pre-game activities with the Pitt team captains, making for a very memorable experience for all involved.

Children’s Hospital and Veteran’s Hospital Visits Student-athletes from all sports routinely visited patients at the local Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, as well as paying separate visits to veterans at the local VA Hospital on Veteran’s Day.

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


Members of both the football team and men’s and

Neighborhood

CLEAN-UP

women’s track and field teams partnered with the University’s Government Relations Office and the Mayor’s Office in an effort to clean-up litter in the Homewood, Allentown, Beltzhoover, Knoxville and Hill District neighborhoods.

Greater Pittsburgh Area Food Bank Members of the football team spent the day at the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank warehouse sorting and packing food items for those less fortunate.

Panthers in the Community

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Life Skills

and

Leadership CAREER

NETWORKING Night

Student-athletes networked with 85 professionals from companies that they identified as top career fields in a 2012 Career/Life Skills Survey. Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors were encouraged to attend the event, which allowed studentathletes to make new professional contacts, decide on a career path, and/or land a job/ internship in their desired field.

“From arriving as a freshman, to a graduate at the University of Pittsburgh, the Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program prepared me in my career search by developing my professional communication skills, helping prepare for networking events and job fairs, and by providing me with the experience of participating in a professional environment.” – John Cordier Men’s Soccer Student-Athlete 14

Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


As part of the Health & Wellness series through the

steel chef with leslie

Bonci

Cathy & John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program, UPMC nutritionist, Leslie Bonci, facilitated several workshops throughout the year, teaching studentathletes how to shop for groceries and how to cook easy, healthy, and affordable meals with limited resources available through dorm living.

Dining Etiquette As part of the Life Skills Etiquette Series, Pitt student-athletes learned the basics of dining etiquette. This fun and educational initiative promoted professional dining habits and social skills in professional settings.

Life Skills and Leadership

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Life Skills

and

Leadership

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


Pitt student-athletes from various sports participated in the annual Panther Leadership Academy Conference, held in June at the University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown campus. The conference offers student-athletes the opportunity to engage in interactive learning workshops that help them identify their strengths and their roles as team leaders and as leaders in life. Student-athletes participate in small group activities and competitions where they are challenged to recognize and build upon their personal leadership skills.

Life Skills and Leadership

panther

leadership Conference

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Life Skills

and

Leadership PANTHER

LEADERSHIP Academy

The Panther Leadership Academy is designed to maximize leadership by training both rising and veteran leaders on each sports team. Meetings focus on defining and identifying leadership, as well as exploring the various roles in building a successful team. Other key topics discussed throughout the year included confidence, composure, character, and involved team building exercises that stress the importance of maintaining strong communications between teammates and coaches.

Creating Your Brand: Dress for Success Student-athletes focused on making a great first impression by learning the appropriate attire needed for various occasions such as interviews, banquets, and other professional settings. This series also included a fun and informative Fashion Show, starring our athletic administrators and coaches.

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


Legacy Night provided an opportunity for former

LEGACy

NIGHT and

PERSONAL

DEVELOPMENT

Pitt Panthers to meet, network, and share their life experiences, successes, and transitions with current Pitt student-athletes. The goal was to provide valuable advice and insight on preparing for success. The program included a reception and also had a select group of former Panthers serve on a panel for a Q&A session with our current student-athletes.

Life Skills and Leadership

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Non-Profit

Partnerships

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


“The annual game gives us a chance as studentathletes to give something back to others. There are so many people that have been touched by the disease; just to know I am helping – even a little – with breast cancer awareness is very fulfilling.” – Ashlee Anderson Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete

Pitt women’s basketball has teamed with UPMC Health Plan and the Pittsburgh Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure the past five years to host “Pink the Petersen.” The annual game was initiated to raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Pitt donates $1 from each ticket to Susan G. Komen to aid

Pink the

Petersen

the cause and fans are encouraged to wear pink to the annual home contest.

Non-Profit Partnerships

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Non-Profit

Partnerships Maggie Dixon

Heart

Health Fair

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Held in October in honor of the late Maggie Dixon, sister of head basketball coach Jamie Dixon, the Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair provides Pitt Fans free blood pressure and health screenings, free CPR and AED training, access to educational heart health displays, games, free giveaways and the opportunity to obtain autographs from Pitt players and coaches. Pitt Athletics partners with the Maggie Dixon Foundation to enhance heart health awareness and promote early diagnosis as well as preventative treatment. It was the 4th year that the Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair was held in the Petersen Event Center. Student-Athletes from various sports volunteered their time, greeting visitors and providing tours of the athletic facilities. After the Heart Health Fair, fans enjoyed the Men’s Basketball Blue-Gold Scrimmage.

Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


“The Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair gives us a chance as players to interact with our fans and educate youth in the community on the importance of heart health awareness. It is an event that we as players look forward to every year.” – Lamar Patterson Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete

Non-Profit Partnerships

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Non-Profit

Partnerships

Pictured here is Joshua N. Caskey, USMC, SSgt. He was honored at the Pitt vs. Temple game on October 27, 2012.

wounded

warrior

Project and

McGowan Institute

The University of Pittsburgh honored our nation’s military heroes during all the home football games. In partnership with the Wounded Warrior Project and the McGowan Institute, Pitt invites men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have been injured to be recognized during the game.

Over 900 tickets were donated to Ticket for Kids Charities this past season by Pitt ticket holders. Tickets for Kids Charities (TFK) is an organization that provides opportunities to low-income and at-risk children to attend various events throughout western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia. Through Pitt’s partnership with TFK, ticket holders can donate tickets to Pitt sporting events. Beginning in 2012, Pitt ticket holders were able to electronically donate their tickets, which created a much easier avenue to put the tickets into the hands of the charity.

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Pittsburgh Is Home To Pitt Student-Athletes


Sincere Thanks We would like to thank all our Pitt students, fans, donors, season ticket holders, alumni, faculty, staff, as well as community and corporate partners for their tireless support of Pitt Athletics and our Pitt studentathletes. We look forward to an exciting new era of Pitt Athletics in the Atlantic Coast Conference!


University of Pittsburgh Department of Athletics P.O. Box 7436 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-0436


Pitt Off the Field Playbook 2013