Rick Pitino says he has ‘no idea’ what the future of coaching holds

ALBANY, NY — After the final game of his third season at Iona, Rick Pitino said he doesn’t know if he’ll be back for a fourth — or if he’ll coach elsewhere.

Will he stay in Iona or will he leave?

“I really don’t have an answer, to be honest with you,” Pitino said. “I have no idea if it’s the case or not because I focused everything on this match.”

Pitino, 70, who reached the NCAA Tournament with Iona for the second time after a Hall of Fame career at Boston University, Providence, Kentucky, Louisville and the NBA, remains St. John’s, sources said. ESPN’s Jeff Borzello on Friday.

The two sides held talks and no deal was finalized, sources said, but the search remained focused on Pitino and no other serious candidates emerged.

On the court, the Gaels, 13th seeded Pitino, held off No. 4 UConn on Friday before losing 87-63.

For one half, it looked like Pitino might get his first coaching win as the double-digit seed. Iona led UConn 39-37 at the break after what Pitino called the best half his team had played all season.

But it wouldn’t last. Connecticut more than doubled Iona in the second half, picking up the win to send Pitino into practice questions he answered as often the day before the Gaels’ NCAA first round game as he did by the following.

Before arriving on the podium for his post-match press conference, Pitino walked the halls of the MVP Arena. He wished a Drake player well – Drake and Miami were playing the next game – then stopped to speak for a brief moment with PJ Carlesimo, the former Seton Hall coach and current ESPN radio analyst. Flanked by an armed policeman, Pitino crossed paths with the Iona group before running into Connecticut coach Dan Hurley.

He and Hurley embraced, and Pitino told Hurley, “Win it all. Win it all. You got the team to do it.”

It’s something he would repeat moments later on the podium, saying he believed the Huskies had the attributes in place to win a national championship.

Pitino said he didn’t get emotional on the podium when asked about his future. He later spoke about being exonerated in the Louisville basketball scandal and how it took years off his career. He said he treasures his past – both successes and mistakes – and where he stands now. On Thursday, Pitino said he would consider coaching for another decade.

Pitino had a 293-140 record at Louisville with three Final Fours and a national championship (two of the Final Four appearances, the 2013 national title and 123 other wins were vacated due to the scandal); a 219-50 record at Kentucky with three Final Fours and a national title; a 42-23 record at Providence with a Final Four; and a 91-51 record at Boston University after a six-game stint in Hawai’i. He also coached in the NBA with the Knicks and Celtics and for two seasons in Greece at Panathinaikos.

It all led to his final three seasons at Iona, where he’s 64-22 with two NCAA Tournament appearances and could be on the move again.

“The present is where we are right now, and it’s disappointing for my guys because they’re a great group of kids,” Pitino said. “And the future, I really have no idea what the future can bring because I have to look at the grand scheme of things on winning, and winning is very important because we all work so hard, every coach work so hard.

“And we played an almost perfect game, the best half of the season.”

When asked if he had a timeline for staying in Iona or going to St. John’s or maybe somewhere else, he got no response yet.

“I really haven’t thought about it at all. I hear the question from you, and I think when you start thinking about the future, you always fail,” Pitino said. “We put a lot of effort into this game, and I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s good for me, another job. I don’t know.”

Pitino acknowledged conversations around St. John’s position before saying he never saw St. John’s. Maybe he meant in his current form, as Pitino then embarked on a training story against legendary St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca in 1987.

After telling the story – Pitino always has a story – he came back to something that might show some of his thinking.

“You don’t buy houses without looking at the garage, the floor, the kitchen and everything,” Pitino said. “You’re not just buying a house.”

About 20 minutes later, his press conference ended and Pitino left – guard at his side, group of media walking behind him – stopping to chat briefly with a few members of the media before entering the locker room. ‘Iona as his sports news director said so. no longer do interviews.

Was this the last time he would enter Iona’s locker room after a game as the team’s head coach? Pitino said he didn’t know. He has no timetable for this.


Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button