Pittsburgh have today announced that athletic director Steve Pederson has signed a new five-year contract that will keep him at the university until 2018.

Pederson - who is entering his 13th year at Pittsburgh - has put pen to paper on a long-term deal less than a month before the university officially joins the ACC on July 1, a move that has helped solidify the former University of Nebraska-Lincoln athletic director's position in Pensylvania.

During his first tenure at the University of Pittsburgh - between 1996 and 2002 - Pederson hired six big Eastern Conference Coach of the Year honourees; in football, men's and women's basketball, track & field and volleyball, which represented an unprecedented achievement for any Big East athletic director.

Since returning to Pittsburgh in 2007, following the departure of Jeff Long to the University of Arkansas, Pederson has hired football coach Paul Chryst and women's basketball coach Suzie McConnell-Serio, in a bid to bring balance to a programme in desperate need of stability.

"This is an exciting time to be at the University of Pittsburgh," Pederson is quoted by ESPN. "I am fortunate to work with this great staff and together we are helping to guide each of our student-athletes as they aspire to excellence academically, athletically and personally. 

"I appreciate the confidence the Chancellor has in our ability to keep Pitt athletics moving forward."

Pittsburgh chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg also paid tribute to the impact Pederson has had on the University during his time as athletic director.

"Just two years ago, during a period of significant conference instability, Steve was a driving force in helping us to find the best possible conference home. 

"When we received an invitation to join the ACC, Pitt not only had the chance to move to an outstanding athletic conference but also became aligned with some of the nation's most prestigious academic institutions. 

The ACC is a perfect fit for the University of Pittsburgh, and our receipt of their invitation reflects well on both our overall institutional strength and on the tremendous progress made in Pitt athletics under Steve's guidance."

Nordenberg added: "As we begin this exciting new era of ACC competition, we all have high aspirations for each of our programs. The creativity, strength and stability of Steve's continued leadership will be an important asset as we pursue those lofty goals."

 

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