Rick Pitino To Become Next St. John’s Head Coach
Rick Pitino is going back to the Big East! The Hall of Fame coach has agreed to a six-year deal to become St. John’s newest head coach, Adrian Wojnarowski was first with the news. It is a massive move that could finally bring the Red Storm back to the forefront of college basketball.
Woj also noted that Pitino is set to have a press conference and unveiling in Madison Square Garden tomorrow.
Pitino sits on a very unique position in the history of college basketball.
He won two National Championships on two different teams with Kentucky in 1996 and Louisville in 2013. However, he was embroiled in a scandal that saw him leave college basketball and coach professionally in Greece for a couple of years.
In 2020, he made his return to the NCAA with Iona. In New Rochelle, N.Y., Pitino transformed the Gaels into the face of the MAAC. He won two regular season titles and two conference titles from 2020-2023. His last game at Iona was an 87-63 loss in their opening-round matchup to No. 4 seed UConn in the NCAA Tournament.
Johnnies, Be Happy!
This news is absolutely massive for St. John’s. They have been on the outskirts of Big East contention for decades. Fans should be relieved knowing that in his last stint in the conference, Pitino took Providence to the Final Four. He is a personality and skillset that seems tailor-made for MSG. Reports have already confirmed that a significant amount of home games will be played there should he sign up for the job. His commute from Winged Foot Country Club should also not be too much of an issue.
All that remains is his coaching staff. One name that comes to mind is recently-fired Manhattan Coach Steve Masiello. He will also make the move to Queens despite previously suggesting interest in a head coaching role elsewhere.
Rick Pitino is on the move once again. This time around is arguably more special than any other of his stops. With aspirations to coach into his eighties, is he in for another special tenure?