Longtime college coach Rick Pitino is leaving Iona to become the new main man on the sideline at St. John’s, according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Pete Thamel of ESPN.
The possibility of Pitino leaving for St. John’s has been reported last week, and he is reportedly receiving a six-year contract to do so, per Wojnarowski and Thamel.
Pitino, 70, has been coach at Iona since 2020 and took the Gaels to the NCAA tournament this season. He first made the Final Four as the coach of point guard Billy Donovan and Providence back in 1987. Donovan, of course, won two national titles as the coach at Florida and is now the coach of the Bulls.
Pitino also guided Kentucky to the national championship in 1996, then later coached bitter rival Louisville. He has also been head coach of the Knicks and the Celtics, as well as Boston University.
His career began as an assistant and interim coach at Hawaii, then later as an assistant under Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim in 1976.
St. John’s, once a basketball power, has fallen on hard times lately and is clearly hoping Pitino can change all that in a short time, as he has done historically.
ESPN Reporting with @PeteThamel: Iona’s Rick Pitino has agreed on a six-year deal to become St. John’s coach. Pitino’s taken three schools to the Final Four, won NCAA titles at Kentucky and Louisville and now makes move to restore the Red Storm to Big East prominence. pic.twitter.com/V3BQocSSdG
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 20, 2023