Pitt hires ex-point guard Brianna Kiesel as assistant coach on women's basketball staff

Jun. 3—As a point guard, Brianna Kiesel provided on-court direction for the Pitt women's basketball team.

Now, she'll do the same from the bench.

Coach Lance White announced Thursday that Kiesel, who spent the past six seasons playing professionally, will join his staff as an assistant coach.

"After a nationwide search to find our new assistant coach, I am so excited to add Bri to our staff," White said in a statement. "Her knowledge of the game matches her love for Pitt. She was a huge part of Pitt's last NCAA Tournament team, and she had a successful career in the WNBA and overseas so she knows first-hand what it takes to compete and win at the highest level."

Kiesel, a Utica, N.Y., native, most recently played for Uni Gyor in the Hungary A Division and averaged 17.5 points, 6.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game. She also shot 53.4% from the floor.

"Everyone at Pitt has been my second family since the moment I stepped foot on campus for my official visit," she said. "This has been my dream job ever since graduating in 2015, and I'm ready to pass on the knowledge I've gained from the WNBA and international play to the up-and-coming student-athletes at Pitt."

Kiesel played for five teams in four different countries (Poland, Sweden, Hungary and Isreal) during her overseas playing career and earned multiple first-team all-league honors. In 2019, she averaged a career-high 19.0 points, 4.2 assists and 3.9 rebounds in 21 games for Pszczolka AZS-UMCS Lublin (Poland-EBLK).

After her Pitt career at Pitt, Kiesel was a second-round draft choice (13th overall) in the 2015 WNBA Draft by the Tulsa Shock. She was the second Panthers player drafted into the WNBA, joining Shavonte Zellous (2009, Detroit Shock).

Kiesel appeared in 58 career games for the Tulsa Shock, Dallas Wings and Atlanta Dream.

At Pitt, she was the Panthers' all-time leader in minutes while ranking third in free throw percentage (79.5%), fifth in points (1,938), fifth in assists (433) and eighth in steals (198). She is the only player in program history to record at least 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 400 assists and lead the team in scoring and assists in four consecutive seasons.

Kiesel will replace Bridgette Mitchell after she was named head coach at Northeastern last month. Mitchell is the second Pitt assistant coach from White's staff to accept a head coaching position, joining Danielle Santos Atkinson (Hofstra).

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at jdipaola@triblive.com or via Twitter .