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Rick Pitino is 70 years old, but does not foresee his coaching career coming to a close anytime soon. He hopes that he has at least 10 years left!
Pitino, in his fourth year at Iona, will face No. 4-seed UConn as the No. 13-seed in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday. As soon as the Gaels lose, it is expected that their head coach will explore his options with high-major programs that may be interested in hiring him.
He said so himself.
Although Pitino isn’t getting any younger, he plans on coaching for quite a bit longer.
Pitino, a two-time national champion, was fired for cause by Louisville in 2017 after being implicated in a federal investigation that involved bribes to recruits, among other things. Nobody wanted to touch him in the aftermath, so he took some time off and then went overseas to coach three seasons in Greece.
The two years I was out of coaching was the most miserable two years of my life.— Rick Pitino, via Jeff Goodman
After paying his dues, Iona took a chance on Pitino in 2020. He has won 65 of 86 games (75.6%) in New Rochelle and 40 of 49 in the MAAC. Not too shabby!
It’s no secret that Pitino knows how to win, and he has proved, yet again, that he can overhaul a program almost overnight. The question is whether he will choose to make a move this year, or wait for a better/different opportunity in the future.
There doesn’t seem to be a huge rush, seeing that Pitino has a lengthy goal for the rest of his career.
I hope I can coach another 12 years, but I’ll take another six or seven.— Rick Pitino, via Jeff Goodman
If Pitino coaches six or seven years, he will be 76 or 77 when he retires. If he coaches 12, he will be 82.
Either way, it’s not a matter of if Pitino will coach next season, but where.
St. John’s recently fired its coach. Pitino is atop its list to fill the vacancy.
Georgetown needs to replace Patrick Ewing and Pitino would surely jump at the chance to coach the Hoyas. The question is whether Georgetown wants him, which it seems like it may not.
Texas Tech is looking for a new coach after Mark Adams’ resignation. Pitino’s name has been thrown around.
Will Pitino end up back in the Big East or the Big 12? Or will he stay at Iona? Only time will tell.