The 1999 Claymont graduate is just 26 years old, but his experience and enthusiasm for the game were enough to convince the Harrison Central school board that he was the man to take the reigns of the Huskies program.
“It is very exciting for me to be here at Harrison Central,” Pittis said. “This was a dream of mine – to become a head coach.”
Pittis worked as an assistant and freshman coach last year at New Philadelphia after assisting Jim Riley for his alma mater Mustangs. He had also worked with the freshman program at Indian Valley under coach Scott Doak.
“Often young coaches will have to take over struggling programs to have the chance to become a head coach,” Pittis said. “I feel I was very lucky to have an opportunity to get my first head coaching job at a school where the team has been so successful over the last few years.”
Pittis takes over the program after Don Madzia resigned to become the head mens coach at Ohio University Eastern. In six years as head coach for the Huskies, Madzia transformed a program from a dismal 0-20 record in his second year to a winning 36-9 record over the last two seasons, including winning the OVAC crown last season. Harrison Central reached the Division II regional in Athens in 2006.
“I have received such great support from the parents, administration and community and the players are responding well,” Pittis said. “We will be young. We have a lot of sophomores, juniors and only a couple seniors. We don’t have any returning starters, but we will have some depth. We work hard, we are excited and we are looking forward to this season.”
Pittis also feels very comfortable with the move from the ECOL to the OVAC.
“I am familiar with the conference because we share the same sectional,” Pittis said. “We open on the road with Martins Ferry and Bellaire, two tough games to begin the season, then one home game and back on the road again.
“Players win games, coaches lose games. We will stick to fundamentals, ball handling, making good decisions and we definitely will continue to focus on foul shooting, I am going to put the players in the best situation to utilize their talents and give them the opportunity to win.”