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Athletic director Barnes reaffirms commitment to Pitt

Jerry DiPaola
PTRDIXON2032216
Stephanie Strasburg | Tribune-Review
Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes holds a news conference to discuss the departure of men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon on Monday, March 21, 2016.

Pitt athletic director Scott Barnes, whose name surfaced among eight candidates to replace athletic director Todd Stansbury at Oregon State, said Friday the speculation caught him by surprise and he and his family remain “incredibly excited about our future here (at Pitt).”

The Oregonian newspaper listed Barnes as a candidate to become Oregon State’s athletic director after Stansbury left suddenly for Georgia Tech, leaving a vacancy atop the department for the second time in the less than two years.

Barnes, a native of Spokane, Wash., hired Oregon State football coach Gary Andersen while he was athletic director at Utah State in 2009. Barnes has worked previously in the Pacific Northwest as athletic director at Eastern Washington (1999-2005) and associate athletic director at Washington (2005-08).

“I was completely unaware of the article and speculation until it was just brought to my attention,” said Barnes, who is with the Pitt football team in Chapel Hill, N.C., where the Panthers meet North Carolina on Saturday. “Obviously, my full focus and energy has been directed at what we have going on at Pitt.

“I don’t think it is appropriate for me to talk about another institution’s personnel search, but I can tell you my family and I feel very fortunate to be in Pittsburgh, and we are incredibly excited about our future here.” Barnes, 54, has made two major moves at Pitt since he was named athletic director in April 2015, replacing Steve Pederson. He hired basketball coach Kevin Stallings in March to replace Jamie Dixon, who resigned to accept the job at TCU, and he reintroduced the popular Pitt script as the primary branding logo for the school’s 19 varsity sports. He also launched a facilities master plan that includes significant upgrades at many university venues, including Petersen Events Center.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.

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