Steve Pederson couldn't have scripted it any better.
When the Pitt athletic director arrived in York Thursday afternoon for social meeting with local alumni, the weather suddenly improved.
He's hoping that script plays out in a similar manner for his athletic programs, which are in the midst of a sea change.
Pederson and head coaches Paul Chryst (football), Jamie Dixon (men's basketball) and Agnus Berenato (women's basketball) were on hand at Out Door Country Club to talk about Pitt, with an eye on the future. That future includes an expected move in the summer of 2013 from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Pederson sounded excited about making the move to the ACC, and the new and renewed rivalries that await his program.
"We're anxious to get going to the ACC," Pederson said. "The Virginia Tech series will be a great series. Miami had been a great series. Boston College ... those are all renewed rivalries. And then we'll have some new ones coming in."
Dixon, who's built the Panthers into one of the better basketball programs in the nation, thinks the move to a new conference will be great for the program. He did, however, make it clear that he still has to worry about one more year in the ultra-competitive Big East next season.
"Right now we're still focused on the Big East," Dixon said. "There's no need to jump the gun yet."
Chryst takes over foot ball program: In his first year, Chryst hasn't had a lot of free time since taking over the program in December of 2011 from Todd Graham. He's been busy recruiting, meeting with his players and getting acclimated to the city of Pittsburgh.
The chance to finally ascend to the top of the coaching ranks came as a bit of a surprise to both Pederson and Chryst, who was the offensive coordinator at Wisconsin the past seven years.
Graham was expected to spend many years at Pitt after coaching at Tulsa for four years. He put Pederson in a tough situation last December by hanging the program out to dry after announcing he was leaving to take the head coaching position at Arizona State after spending just one year at Pitt.
That opened up the head coaching position again for Pederson, who has hired an astounding three new head coaches over the past two years.
The Pitt AD is clearly pleased with what he is seeing from Chryst so far.
"I think it is going very well," Pederson said. "I think Paul has hired a terrific staff. Our players have responded very well and I think recruiting is off to a good start."
Chryst feels he's in a very good situation.
"It's been exciting," he said. "I'm certainly appreciative of the opportunity and we're going to enjoy doing what we're doing as a staff."
PSU-Pitt rivalry: It's clear that both Pederson and Chryst are not only looking forward to their future in the ACC, they are both eagerly awaiting the renewal of their football rivalry against Penn State. The Panthers and Nittany Lions, who last met in 2000, are slated to face one another for two games in 2016 and 2017.
Pederson is hoping that is just the beginning of a rekindled rivalry. Penn State holds a 50-42-4 edge against Pitt over 96 contests.
"We're anxious because we do have our Penn State games scheduled on the books," he said. "We're excited about that. I've had a chance to talk to (Penn State AD) Dave Joyner and my hope is that we can continue to play that game (every year)."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.