Kentucky Basketball Scuttlebutt: Pitt Assistant Coach Barry Rohrssen could land in Lexington

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

There are rumblings that Coach Calipari is looking to replace departed current USF head coach Orlando Antigua with Pitt Assistant Coach Barry Rohrssen. We look at exactly who is and what kind of fit it could be.

John Calipari and Kentucky are on the prowl for a few staff members and there is a lot of smoke around one particular target in Pitt assistant coach Barry Rohrssen.  So who exactly is Mr. Rohrssen and what would he bring to the Big Blue Nation?

For his coaching career, Rohrssen has been a long time assistant and is known for his recruiting abilities, particularly in opening the New York City pipeline to Pittsburgh.

  • 1999-2006 Pitt Assistant Coach
  • 2006-2011 Manhattan University Head Coach
  • 2012 - Worked in the Portland Trailblazers Organization
  • 2013 -  Current Pitt Assistant Coach
While his results at Manhattan were underwhelming, he was able to pull some solid recruiting classes while there.  He was able to beat UConn and Florida for former top 50 recruit Rico Pickett and he was also able to bring in one-time UCLA commit Mohammed Koita among others that he should not have bee able to get to Manhattan.

A couple of the more notable Pitt recruits that Rohrssen was responsible for would be Mark McCarrol, Carl Krauser, Chris Taft, Ronald Ramon, Keith Benjamin, and Levance Fields.

Rohrssen is a colorful character that carries the nickname "Slice." In a 2013 Kevin Gorman article Rohrssen discussed the benefit of being a head coach and going back to being on a staff vs. heading one up:

"When you become a head coach, your eyes are opened even more. One of the biggest things you wind up doing along the way, you go from making suggestions to making decisions," he said. "Having been in the position where you're required to make so many decisions, now, hopefully, when you go back to the role of making suggestions you have better suggestions."

In a program like UK's where Coach Cal emphasizes players first, the mindset that Rohrssen carries in his recruiting could be a match made in heaven. In that same article, Rohrssen goes on to say:

"Quite frankly and quite honestly, it's always been my feelings that the players in your program are the best recruiters," Rohrssen said. "They're what you'd call the ‘living proof' of what's going on. The biggest key is getting them. Pitt has a lot to offer. There's so many good qualities about this program, about this university and about this city. If you can get a kid here that can see that up close and personal, live and firsthand, that's what you need to do."

While it's not much of a help in his coaching or recruiting duties, it's interesting to note that before getting into coaching, Rohrssen was actually involved in Hollywood as a member of the Screen Actors Guild, most notably working alongside Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon in the critically acclaimed Glengary Glen Ross movie. He also managed a nigh club in New York as well as partly owned a restaurant in New York named Isanti, which was regularly frequented with A-List celebrities.

With Kentucky basketball being the biggest A-List celebrity in all of college basketball, maybe Rohrssen can use his Hollywood chops and excellent recruiting ability to become the next coaching staff star for the Wildcats. Only time will tell.

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