The University of Pittsburgh football program has received a $2 million commitment from Steven and Kathy Guttman, the single-largest contribution in the history of the Pitt Football Championship Fund, it was announced by Director of Athletics Heather Lyke.
The Panthers’ Football Championship Fund is used to enhance such critical areas as the student-athlete experience, facilities, recruiting and advancing technology.
“On behalf of our football student-athletes and coaches, we thank Kathy and Steven for their extremely generous commitment,” Lyke said. “Though I have only been in Pittsburgh a few weeks, it has been awesome to meet our loyal donors and even more inspiring to see their generosity positively impact the lives of our student-athletes.
“The Guttman’s investment not only emphasizes that sentiment, it underscores how vital philanthropic support is to our competitive success. We are grateful for Kathy and Steven’s belief in the leadership of Coach Narduzzi and the trajectory of our football program.”
A 1968 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Steven Guttman is founder and chairman of UOVO Fine Art Storage and has more than 40 years of real estate development experience. Prior to UOVO, Guttman founded and remains chairman of Storage Deluxe Management Company (SDMC), of which he is the main investor. Additionally, he had a 30-year career with Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE), where he served as Chairman and CEO.
“We are delighted to make this commitment to the Pitt Football Championship Fund,” Steven Guttman said. “The program’s visible growth under Coach Narduzzi’s leadership is reason for tremendous optimism moving forward. It is our hope that this commitment will not only serve to help the Panthers continue that growth, but also motivate others to support their quest as well.”
“We are incredibly appreciative and inspired by Steven and Kathy Guttman’s generosity,” Coach Pat Narduzzi said. “Their belief and support is so important in helping us achieve the goals we have for our program, both on and off the field. We thank them not only for this historic commitment, but also for their longtime loyalty and love of the University of Pittsburgh and the Pitt football program.”
The Panthers are considered a rapidly ascending program under Narduzzi. He has directed Pitt to eight regular-season wins in each of his first two years, something the Panthers had not achieved since 2008-09. Narduzzi owns a 16-10 overall mark and 11-5 record in the ACC, which was regarded as the nation’s finest conference last year.
In 2016, Pitt was the only school to have wins over two teams that finished in the top 5 of the final College Football Playoff rankings. The Panthers gave No. 2 Clemson—the eventual national champion—its only loss (43-42) and kept No. 5 Penn State out of the playoff field by defeating the Nittany Lions, 42-39.