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Pitt to retire after longtime director of sports information at UW-Stout

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**Release courtesy of Jerry Polling of UW-Stout Marketing and Communications

Menomonie, Wisconsin.

–As a college student and turnip reporter for the student newspaper, then as a local newspaper reporter and director of sports information for the University of Stout, Layne Pitt has covered nearly 2,000 college athletic meets for all teams for the past nearly 45 years. rice field.

he goes back a long time. In the late 1970s, he covered football games celebrating his first induction into the Blue Devils Hall of Fame. Today, the Hall of Fame has about 200 members.

Over the years, Pitt has created his own Blue Devils legacy, but it’s never been about numbers, titles, all-Americans, record performances, or incredible shots and plays. In his last 28 years as a SID, he’s worked late hours, worked weekends, met media deadlines, stayed focused during double-overtime games, and supported the efforts of UW-Stout’s hardworking athletes, coaches, and staff. I have praised

With his soft, unassuming voice and steady presence, along with his living history with the Blue Devils, he has become an institution around the South Campus Athletic Complex. He will leave a void when he retires on Wednesday, Oct. 12.

“Rain is respected nationally by everyone who has worked with him over the years, but especially the Blue Devils coaches and student-athletes he has supported and represented in his incredible work. They are respected by the team,” athletic director Dewey Nartz said.

“Rain is a true professional in all aspects of his work. His knowledge and history of UW-Stout track and field and his ability to promote UW-Stout with student-athlete stories is remarkable,” said Nartz. Told.

Pitt will be replaced by Casey Parrott, Director of Athletic Communications, who started on September 16.
“On behalf of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, we are extremely grateful to Laine for his 28 years as Director of Sports Information at UW-Stout,” said Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference media representative. Assistant Commissioner of Relations Matt Stanek said. “We cannot thank him enough for his endless efforts to promote the Blue Devils Athletics division.We will miss Rain and wish him the best in his retirement. ”

After nearly 30 years at UW-Stout Athletics, we’ve grown to 3 presidents, 3 athletic directors, 53 head coaches and thousands of student-athletes. He has led a staff that produced over 25,000 of his stories, at least 9,000 athlete portraits, tens of thousands of action shots, created videos, maintained school record books and statistical archives, and more. .

“My student staff is very good. We started with a small staff doing paper statistics. Now, with the expansion of our website, we have over 20 students on staff working on statistics, producing live streams, I work with photos (stills and videos), office work, writers,” Pitt said.

He enjoys getting to know the student staff and student-athletes, who visit the SID office to chat and hang out after games. For the past few years, he’s kept a jar of Starburst candy on his desk as an informal invitation to stop by.”It’s a really good gathering spot,” he said.

UW-Stout has 19 teams, a number that has doubled since joining the SID in 1994. Dunn County area,” said Pitt.


When he started working for SID in 1994, he didn’t have email. Staff reported Blue Devil athletics news to the media by fax and phone. In the early days of the office his computer was not portable, so game stats were kept on paper, pencils and typewriters.

But the change didn’t take long. Less than a year later, with the help of college editor Don Steffen, he began creating his first website for track and field, starting with team schedules and rosters.

“The school had some kind of web presence at the time, so I jumped on that wagon. We knew it was the future. We had a great site,” Pitt said. “The web has probably been the biggest change for us. In fact, we are our own media outlet with a website. Almost everything you need is on those pages.”

Pitt, who holds a degree in photography, has photographed Blue Devils athletics throughout his career. He stopped using film around his 2001.

“If anyone says I can only do one job, it would be photography. I love games, feature articles, and studio shoots.” Student photographer for the past 15 years. “It’s great to see them grow as photographers.”

Over the past 15 years, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have brought new challenges to work, but also new and more direct ways to reach media and Blue Devil fans.

Blue Devil History Witness

He has seen a lot of Ao Oni’s history. But the period from 2000 to his 2009 stands out. Football His team was a regular in 2000. In his season he was 10-0. Last year he was 2-8. The women’s basketball team won his four conference titles and qualified for the national competition under coach Mark Thomas. The hockey, softball and golf teams also shone.

“We hosted conferences and NCAA tournaments like never before. It was a whirlwind of activity from event to event. Gyms and arenas were packed,” he said.

“I’ve always been a fan of history, and Stout has a great history both in general and when it comes to sports programming.”

He has worked with coaches, staff and athletes, including athletic directors who have worked under him, including Steve Terry, Joe Harlan, and Nertz, as well as current Athletics deputy director Erin Sullivan. Thank you.

He also enjoys watching athletes succeed on and off the field and getting to know them during his years at UW-Stout.

Memorable achievements include Terry Anders winning six national sprint titles. Brad O’Connell’s Outstanding Baseball Career. Jeff Hazga and Tony Beckham join the NFL. Laura Verdegan had a basketball game Wednesday night and the following weekend she won the WIAC indoor triple jump title. Kelsey Duos and Julia Hirsig earn All-American women’s basketball honors. Amy Jamison earned first-team All-Conference honors in tennis, basketball, and softball all in the same grade.

Pitt has seen Matt Bunyan overthrow the football passing record set by Tim Peterson. Current Blues quarterback for his Devils, Sean Bogarding, is likely to break many of Bunyan’s records.

“Laing has been great at covering sports, both in-season and off-season.

Bogarding said Pitt’s support for athletes goes far beyond coverage of the games, including nominating athletes for competitions and national awards and honors, highlighting their special achievements.

Start your career as a journalist
Prior to being hired as a SID, he was a sports editor, editor and photojournalist for his local Dunn County News for 11 years. After that, he worked for UW-Stout Photographic Services for two years.

His work at UW-Stout includes chairing the Blue Devils Hall of Fame Committee, member of the President’s Athletic Advisory Board, and working with the Student Chapter of the Christian Athletes’ Fellowship.

In 2019, he received the President’s Academic Staff Award for Excellence at the University of Stout.

Pitt was honored by the Association of American Volleyball Coaches as the Midwest Division III Director of Sports Information for the year and was a SID of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association from 2005 to 2008, concurrently serving as a SID of UW-Stout. I was.

Originally from Bonduel, he has lived in Menomonie since arriving as a student in 1978. After earning an associate’s degree in photography from his college in Milwaukee, he transferred to Stout College. He was on the staff of the Stoutonia Student Newspaper and graduated from the University of Stout in 1981 with a degree in Industrial Education. His original plan was to become a high school teacher.

Pitt and his wife, Laura, are also graduates of the University of Stout, work at the University’s Child and Family Study Center, and have four adult children and three grandchildren.

“Laura has always been my support,” Pitt said. “I certainly couldn’t have done this without her.”