College Basketball

Rick Pitino Is Once Again The Most Wanted Man In College Basketball

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As the madness of March grips the college basketball world, another kind of frenzy is underway: the coaching carousel. For struggling programs, this is a time to make bold moves and find the right leader who can turn their fortunes around.
Every year, a handful of highly sought-after coaching prospects generate a lot of buzz.

But this year, one name stands out above the rest – a coach widely regarded as a “sure thing” and a game-changer for any program that can secure his services.

That man is 70-year-old Rick Pitino.

The Long & Winning History of Rick Pitino

When the University of Louisville fired Rick Pitino in 2017 amidst allegations of NCAA violations, it looked like the legendaryRick Pitino Is Once Again The Most Wanted Man In College Basketball coach’s career might be over. But Pitino refused to go quietly into the night. After a brief stint coaching in Greece, he resurfaced in the United States three years ago, taking over as head coach of Iona College in New York which plays in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Pitino wasted no time proving his worth at Iona, leading the Gaels to the NCAA tournament in his first year on the job. He has continued to build on that success, winning 50 games over the past two seasons and guiding Iona to the MAAC semifinals with a 26-7 record this year. Iona is a 13.5-point favorite over Marist tonight in the semis.

If there’s one thing that’s clear about Pitino, it’s that he’s a winner. With a career record of 709-289 (.710), he’s one of the most successful coaches in college basketball history. His only losing season came way back in 1980-81 when he was coaching at Boston University.

For any program looking to turn things around and get back to winning ways, Pitino would be a highly coveted addition to the coaching staff. With his proven track record of success and his ability to develop talented players and build winning teams, he is a coach that can take a program to new heights. And as Iona looks to make another deep run in the NCAA tournament this year, it’s clear that Pitino’s magic touch is as potent as ever.

The Frontrunners For Pitino

Three major programs have emerged as frontrunners for Pitinio’s services, and one of them makes a ton of sense.

The Big Apple beckons for legendary coach Rick Pitino, who has his pick of high-profile job openings in the college basketball coaching carousel. St. John’s University, Georgetown University, and Texas Tech University are all reportedly in the running to land Pitino.

St. John’s

Of the three options, St. John’s offers the chance for Pitino to stay in his beloved New York City and revive a program that has fallen on hard times. Leading the Red Storm seems to make the most sense for Pitino and for the Johnnies. He was recently quoted about how much he loved living in New York and golfing at Winged Foot, a golf course located just 30 minutes from the St.John’s campus in Queens. The Johnnies could get Pitino back into the Big East and coaching games at the mecca of hoops in Madison Square Garden. It’s a marriage that makes a ton of sense. St. John’s wants desperately to be relevant in the landscape of college hoops again, and Pitino is just the name that can bring the program back to prominence.

Georgetown University

With its strong basketball tradition, Georgetown also presents an intriguing opportunity, particularly given its membership in the Big East Conference, where Pitino has thrived in the past. But it has emerged that Georgetown has its eyes set on Providence’s Ed Cooley. With no guarantee that the Hoyas can lure Cooley away, it still says a lot that they’ve leaked where their number one option sits.

Texas Tech

Meanwhile, Texas Tech is reportedly ready to open up its wallet to make a lucrative offer to Pitino, who could help elevate the Red Raiders to the top of the ultra-competitive Big 12. Would Pitino be willing to move to Texas at the age of 70? That remains to be seen, but Texas Tech certainly has some deep pockets that may get Pitino to test the waters.

No matter where he ends up, there is no doubt that Pitino has the potential to transform any program he leads, with a proven track record of success at every level of college basketball.


After four seasons of professional baseball in the San Diego Padres system, Colin was featured as a freelance sports writer in numerous publications. He enjoys handicapping and writing about sports wagering while covering the MLB, NBA, NFL, PGA, and multiple college sports. Colin attended and played baseball at St. John's University in Queens, NY. He enjoys traveling with his wife, Ana, and two sons, Enzo and Wes.

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