St. John’s names Rick Pitino new coach

st.-john’s-names-rick-pitino-new-coach

Rick Pitino is the new head coach at St. John’s, the school announced Monday.

Pitino will be formally introduced at a Tuesday press conference (noon ET) at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“One of my great coaching memories was having the distinct privilege of coaching against Lou Carnesecca and St. John’s, a Hall of Fame coach and historic program that I have always respected,” Pitino said in a release by the school. “It is surreal to now have this opportunity to bring St. John’s back to prominence.”

Terms were not announced but ESPN reported it’s a six-year deal, with CBS Sports reporting the deal is worth roughly $20 million.

“Rick knows Big East basketball and is determined to take and keep the Red Storm program where we know it belongs,” St. John’s president Rev. Brian J. Shanley said in the release.

Pitino informed his players at Iona during a meeting Monday afternoon, per the reports. He thanked his players and the school in a series of tweets.

“To my players, the last three years. All I can say is you know how much I love you,” Pitino said in one tweet.

The news comes the same day that Ed Cooley officially left Providence to take over the reins at Georgetown.

Pitino, 70, is the only coach to lead three different schools to the Final Four — Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. He won titles at the latter two, though his 2013 title with the Cardinals was vacated by a recruiting scandal.

St. John’s has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2000 and last appeared in the tourney in 2019, when it was bounced from the First Four.

St. John’s courted Pitino — and reportedly only him — after firing Mike Anderson earlier this month. But with Iona in the NCAA Tournament, the sides weren’t able to talk until Sunday, when Pitino laid out his vision for the program.

Pitino is listed by NCAA Statistics to have an official record of 711-290. He went 64-22 in three seasons at Iona, leading the Gaels to the NCAA tourney twice. Iona won the MAAC regular-season title in 2021-22 but lost in its conference tournament.

Pitino began his coaching career with Hawaii, Boston University and Providence before Kentucky and Louisville. He also was a head coach for six NBA seasons, spending two with the New York Knicks before four with the Boston Celtics.

–Field Level Media

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