Juhl chosen as Pitt’s acting athletic director

College digest

PITTSBURGH – University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Patrick Gallagher announced Tuesday transition plans for Pitt’s athletic department, including the appointment of Dr. Randy Juhl as acting athletic director.

Juhl, retired Vice Chancellor and Dean Emeritus of Pharmacy, will assume the role on Jan. 20. He will be supported by outgoing athletic director Scott Barnes through Feb. 12, when Barnes’ Pitt tenure will officially conclude.

Juhl is familiar with the role, having served as Pitt’s acting athletic director in 2015. He also will again chair the search committee that will recommend candidates for Pitt’s AD post.

“I have asked Randy to resume this role in order to minimize disruption within our athletic department and facilitate coordination with the ongoing search process for our next athletic director,” Gallagher said. “I am deeply grateful that he has agreed to come out of retirement to resume a pair of roles that he successfully carried out for us two years ago.

“With Randy as our acting athletic director, we will continue to move forward with our strategic plan. Our shared goal is to maintain our outstanding momentum in advancing Pitt Athletics.”

Juniata assistant coach dies

HUNTINGDON — Longtime Juniata football assistant coach Steve Hayes, who coached at both the high school and college levels, passed away suddenly last Thursday, Dec. 29. He was 67.

In totality, Hayes had been an assistant coach with the Juniata football program for more than 25 years. Hayes served as an assistant under former Juniata head coaches Rob Ash, Brad Small, Chris Coller, Tom Gibboney, Kevin Burke, Darrell Alt and since 2012 under current head coach Tim Launtz.

Hayes primarily coached the offensive line but was also the Eagles’ offensive coordinator for the 1999 and 2000 seasons, two of the top five seasons in Juniata football history for passing yardage. Over the two seasons combined, the Eagles posted 5,854 yards passing, including a team record 3,163 yards passing in 1999. The Juniata offense tallied 4,139 yards in 1999, the second-best offensive campaign in program history at the time. The 1999 Hayes-engineered offense also produced the program’s all-time single season passing leader, Joe Montrella, who logged 2,932 in 1999 with 190 completions out of 355 attempts.

From Juniata, Hayes went on to Division I Bucknell University, where he coached slot backs in the Bison’s triple-option offense in 2005. He coached the Bucknell offensive line tackles and tight ends from 2006 to 2009.

Hayes served as the head coach at Mifflin County High School in Lewistown in 2011 and was at State College Area High School as an assistant coach for the 2010 season.

Elsewhere:

n The Penn State men’s track & field team will start the 2017 indoor track & field season in the top-25 of the National Computer Rankings, as released Monday afternoon by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

n After capturing the all-around title at the season-opening Penn State quad meet, junior Briannah Tsang was named the Big Ten Gymnast of the Week, as announced by the conference office Monday afternoon.

n Penn State Nittany Lion women’s tennis player Devan McCluskey recently earned a national ranking form the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.  McCluskey is ranked No. 107 in singles in the ITA’s initial spring release.

n Penn State Altoona sophomore John Polidoro was awarded the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference’s Men’s Swimmer of the Week status on Monday.

n Saint Francis men’s basketball guard Randall Gaskins Jr. was named NEC Rookie of the Week, announced by the conference on Monday.

n Saint Francis safety and returner Lorenzo Jerome earned his sixth All-America honor of the postseason on Monday, being named All-America by Athlon Sports as a safety.

n Penn State sophomore wrestler Jason Nolf was named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.

n The Penn State softball team will play 17 home games on 13 dates at Beard Field in the 2017 season after going 14-9 last season.

n Saint Francis senior Shamsiddin Little was named Northeast Conference Field Athlete of the Week after his performance at the Bucknell Tri-Meet last Saturday. The senior thrower tossed the shot put 16.04 meters.

n The Continental Volleyball Conference released its annual preseason poll on Tuesday, and the Juniata men’s volleyball team was selected third as the Eagles totaled 38 points. Defending champion Stevenson was picked first.

COMMENTS