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Williamson joins the Pitt basketball coaching staff after spending the last two seasons at UMass.
“Brandin has always been a tremendous asset for our program,” Dixon said. “As a player, Brandin proved to be an exceptional leader and a coach on the floor. Through the years, he has developed into an outstanding basketball coach. He has been a terrific role model for our players and was instrumental in turning our program around. In addition, he has always remained loyal to Pitt.”
Knight joined Dixon’s staff in 2006-07 as its Program Assistant/Video Coordinator and served the 2007-08 season as Director of Men’s Basketball Operations.
Pitt has compiled a 256-87 record and reached postseason play 10 times since Knight joined the staff. The Panthers won the 2008 Big East Championship, earned two NCAA Tournament No. 1 seeds (2009 & 2011) and captured the 2011 Big East regular season title with Knight on the sidelines. He was instrumental in the development of All-America selection Sam Young along with all-league guards Levance Fields, Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall.
A Pitt point guard from 1999-2003, Knight’s leadership was largely responsible for Pitt’s basketball renaissance. The transformation of Pitt’s basketball program into a national power can be attributed largely to Knight who led the dramatic turnaround. Pitt finished 13-15 during his freshman year, improved to 19-14 with a surprise Big East Championship Finals appearance and NIT berth as a sophomore, then burst onto the national stage with a 29-6 record, Big East regular season title, national top-10 ranking and NCAA Sweet Sixteen berth during his junior season in 2001-02. As a senior in 2002-03, Knight’s Panthers maintained that success with a 28-5 record, co-Big East regular season title and second straight NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearance.
In the end, Knight helped lead Pitt to two consecutive Big East regular season titles (2001-02 and 2002-03), two NCAA Sweet Sixteen appearances (2002 and 2003), the program’s first Big East Tournament title (2003), three consecutive appearances in the Big East Tournament final (2001, 2002, and 2003) and an 89-40 (.690) four-year record.
A 2003 Wooden All-America team selection, 2002 Associated Press All-America team member and two-time All-Big East honoree, Knight concluded his career with 1,440 points, 785 assists, 492 rebounds and 298 steals. He earned the Big East’s co-Most Valuable Player and Most Improved Player awards in 2001-02.
Knight still holds school records for career assists (785), career assist average (6.2 apg.), career steals (298), career 3-point field goal attempts (261), season minutes played (1,284 in 2001-02) and consecutive games played with at least one assist (91 from 2000-03).
Knight’s No. 20 jersey was retired in a ceremony prior to the Panthers’ Marquette game on March 4, 2009.
Following his Pitt career, Knight played two seasons with the NBDL’s Asheville Altitude. He helped lead the Altitude to back-to-back league titles in both 2003-04 and 2004-05. In 2005, he signed a contract with the NBA’s Houston Rockets, but suffered a knee injury two weeks later. Knight spent the following two years in Pittsburgh rehabbing the injury. During that span, Knight got involved with coaching. He coached several AAU teams, including a squad that captured the Under-16 Pittsburgh Jamfest title in 2006.
Knight, who graduated with a History degree from Pitt in June, 2005, is a native of East Orange, N.J. His brother, Brevin, is a 12-year NBA veteran who was a consensus All-America point guard at Stanford (1994-97). The Knights represent only one of eight brother combinations in NCAA Division I history to earn All-America honors, a distinguished list that includes Marv and Vern Huffman, Eddie and Johnny O’Brien, Dick and Tom Van Arsdale, Mike and Willie Sojourner, Albert and Bernard King, Jim and John Paxson and Harvey and Horace Grant. His father Melvin, a former Seton Hall assistant basketball coach (1978-82) and player (1968-71), serves as the athletic director at Essex County College (N.J.).
Knight resides in Pittsburgh with his wife Michelle, daughter Kylah and son Brandin.
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