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Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino returns to college basketball, hired to be next coach at Iona – CBS Sports


Hall of Fame mentor Rick Pitino has been tapped as the up coming basketball coach of Iona. The university introduced Pitino’s selecting Saturday soon soon after CBS Sports activities described that Pitino told his Panathinaikos B.C. gamers that he would return to coach faculty basketball this calendar year — but nonetheless planned to end the Euroleague season if and when league engage in resumed. 

Pitino returned to the United States in the past few days, which enabled him to interview for the Iona task in an exertion to land what would probable be the final faculty gig of his career. This Pitino information comes as a main headline considerably less than 48 hours eliminated from the cancellation of the NCAA Match. 

It also lands 1 day immediately after the position officially arrived open onFriday, when Tim Cluess stepped downright after using the year off thanks to wellness difficulties. 

“My passion in basketball started in New York and will finish there at Iona Faculty,” Pitino reported in Iona’s announcement. “Tim Cluess has carried out a spectacular career developing good results and a successful spirit. I want Tim a speedy restoration and Iona will often cherish his achievements. At Iona, I will function with the very same enthusiasm, starvation and travel that I have experienced for in excess of forty years. There is a true professionalism in how issues are run listed here and this is a very tight, robust local community. The priority in New Rochelle ideal now is supporting students proceed their schooling on the web in gentle of the coronavirus and I quite a lot glance forward to the day when the group is back on campus and to get to operate on even more elevating this strong method.”  

The employing will come as one thing of a surprise in this regard: former Cluess assistant Jared Grasso was the coach-in-waiting at Iona ahead of taking the Bryant job in 2018. With Cluess stepping down, it was in between Grasso and Pitino the even larger identify won out, largely since Iona hired a new athletic director (Matthew Glovaski) in 2018 and a new president (Seamus Carey) in 2019. Pitino’s connection to Carey, who beforehand president at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, played a sizeable purpose in his using the services of, a source instructed CBS Sports activities.

Pitino coached at Louisville from 2001-2017 exactly where he received a countrywide championship in 2013 and went to three Closing Fours before getting fired in Oct 2017 amid a fork out-for-play scandal connected to the FBI’s probe into college recruiting. In the thirty-additionally months considering the fact that that bombshell story broke, Pitino continues to be the only head mentor who shed his career thanks to the government’s sting. 

Considering that his ouster, Pitino, sixty seven, has been coaching in Greece for Panathinaikos — and with results. It received the Greek Cup and Greek League previous calendar year. He still left the crew briefly to deal with a spouse and children issue but was rehired in November. The Euroleague halted engage in before this week because of to fears and precautions with regards to the coronavirus pandemic. That enabled Pitino to return to the United States and accelerate his odds at currently being employed. 

“He hated coaching pros, complained about it just about every working day,” a resource instructed CBS Athletics. 

The supply included: “He was making an attempt to enforce his dominant ego” even though coaching in Greece and that Pitino was ambitiously hoping to return to university in a closing endeavor to repair some of his standing.

“I am delighted to welcome Rick Pitino to Gael Country,” explained Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski. “Rick is a Corridor of Fame mentor who has won at the maximum concentrations and he is dedicated to foremost our student-athletes and our system to nationwide prominence. He brings passion and electricity and shares our wish to develop a successful software that will make our local community very pleased.”  

Pitino’s job history in faculty is 647-271. Iona will be his fifth entire-time college or university job  right after stops at Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville

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