FLORENCE, S.C. – Athletic Department officials at Francis Marion University have announced the hiring of Frank L. Pitt of Dallas, Ga., as the university’s new head coach for women’s soccer.
Pitt succeeds Joel Person who resigned in early April after three seasons leading the Patriots. FMU, which competes as an NCAA Division I independent, posted a 4-13-1 record last fall.
The announcement ended a nation-wide search that included many quality candidates. FMU director of athletics Murray Hartzler said, “We are very excited that coach Pitt has chosen to accept our position, and we are confident that he will reestablish our program as a highly competitive regional power.”
Pitt comes to Florence after 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Kennesaw State University, the last four as associate head coach. During his time with the Owls, KSU registered a 135-42-15 record and captured three Atlantic Sun Conference titles and two conference tournament championships. Kennesaw State earned bids to the 2007 and 2009 NCAA Division I tournaments.
He served as director of the KSU Soccer Camps and was a coach within the Georgia ODP system.
Prior to moving to Division I status, the Owls won the 2003 Division II national championship with Pitt on the sidelines.
“I see this as a fantastic opportunity and the chance to accomplish something big,” Pitt said. “The new soccer facility is great and the way the university is moving – this went from being a good job to a great job.
“Having spent 10 years in the Atlanta area, I feel as though I know the southeast region well in terms of recruiting and am familiar with most of the opponents we may face. I feel like I will be able to persuade student-athletes to take advantage of the great opportunity to attend Francis Marion.
“I want to thank (university president) Dr. (Fred) Carter and Murray for having the faith in me to extend this opportunity, and for entrusting the program to my guidance.”
Prior to joining the Kennesaw State staff, he was a teacher and head varsity girls’ coach for four years (1998-2002) at Thompson High School in Alabaster, Ala. He served as an assistant women’s coach at the University of Montevallo during the1997-98 season, while also spending four years each as the head varsity boys’ coach at Hoover (Ala.) High School and Huffman High School.
He also coached several club teams and within the Alabama ODP system. Pitt earned a B.A. degree in history from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was a four-year letterwinner on the soccer team. He later received a Master’s in Education degree from Montevallo. He also played one season of semi-professional soccer for the Birmingham (Ala.) Grasshoppers.
Pitt becomes the fourth head coach in the program’s 17-year history, following Person, Marty Beall, and Hartzler. The Francis Marion women’s soccer program has an all-time record of 175-117-15, including 12 seasons of double-figure wins and an imposing 101-27-7 home record.