Pitt assistant Rohrssen joins Kentucky staff

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Pitt announced that assistant basketball coach Barry Rohrssen is departing from the program and has accepted a job at Kentucky as an assistant coach under his long-time friend John Calipari.

The move is not a surprise as Rohrssen was considered the top candidate to fill the job at Kentucky after it became available a few weeks ago.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said that he will miss Rohrssen, who is considered an ace recruiter, but the program will move forward.

"We lose assistants almost every year, he is, I think, the seventh guy we've lost so it is just a part of the business and you deal with it," Dixon said. "But we have had a lot of great assistants here, guys who have been great recruiters and I'm looking forward to going out and finding someone who fits with our staff needs and helps us continue to build this program."

Rohrssen returned to Pitt last year after a stint as an assistant coach for the Idaho Stampede (NBDL). He'd worked at Pitt from 1999-2006 then became the head coach at Manhattan but he was relieved of his duties after the 2011 season.

He was brought back to Pitt by Dixon last year in order to help give the program's recruiting a boost and while Rohrssen has said numerous times he loves it in Pittsburgh, the lure of Kentucky and the chance to work with his friend, Calipari, were too much to turn down.

Rohrssen made more money with Pitt than the coach he is replacing on Calipari's staff, Orlando Antigua, did at Kentucky and Dixon offered him a substantial raise so money is clearly not an issue.

"When I rescued -- I joke with him -- Barry from what I called witness protection in Boise, Idaho, I did so to try and help a good friend get back to where he wanted to be in his career and I knew that this day would come where he would have another opportunity," Dixon said. "And I am happy for him as he is to the point in his career and his life now that he is getting married and presumably gonna start a family that he felt like he needed to take this opportunity in order to get where he wants to be in his career.

"Barry has been a great asset to Pitt, he has done a great job and I wish him nothing but the best but we will move on and we will start the process of replacing him now."

With Rohrssen’s departure, Dixon has appointed director of basketball operations Brian Regan as a temporary replacement for off-campus recruiting duties and he will be permitted to join the staff and recruit off-campus for the final week of recruiting.

Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1720 and Twitter @paulzeise

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