Pitt Sports Teams In Elite Group

While Pitt's success in football and men's basketball have been well-documented this year, the University is among just three schools nationally with ranked teams in those sports, as well as women's basketball and wrestling.

Pittsburgh is 18th in football, third in men's basketball and 16th in women's basketball according to the Associated Press poll. The Panthers are 24th in the USA Today-Intermat NWCA rankings. The other schools are Oklahoma and Ohio State. Texas is ranked highly in three sports, but not in wrestling.

"That's real neat, and it's great for our university,'' Pitt football coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I know this, one of the highlights of our recruiting weekends are taking recruits to basketball games because it's a full house, and there's a lot of energy. And that didn't happen if we wouldn't have a good team.

"So, the more that we can support each other and the more that all the sports can do well, any time the University of Pittsburgh can be mentioned in the (media) it brings attention. And I think it helps one another in a good light.''

Oklahoma football is second, men's basketball is fourth, women's basketball is sixth and wrestling is 11th. Ohio State's football team is 10th, men's basketball 17th, women's basketball 18th and wrestling sixth. Texas is No. 3 in football and fifth in men's and women's basketball.

While the fraternity of football coaches is tight, Wannstedt noted that he and other Pitt coaches interact on a regular basis as well.

"(Pitt men's hoop coach) Jamie (Dixon) was down here three days ago, (and he) just stopped in to see us and congratulate me,'' Wannstedt said. "And I was up there Tuesday and saw (women's basketball coach) Agnus (Berenato).

"My wife and I are going to be honorary coaches on the sideline for the Notre Dame game Feb. 2 (2009). I also attend a weekly Tuesday morning (Christian) men's group, and (wrestling coach) Rande Stottlemyer is in the group. So, I see him once a week.''

There are 119 Division I-A football schools nationwide, 342 men's basketball schools, 342 women's basketball and 95 wrestling.

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