Rick Pitino Agrees To Become Next Coach At St. John’s

Iona Gaels head coach Rick Pitino smiles at the podium.

Iona’s Rick Pitino has agreed to become the next head coach at St. John’s, according to ESPN.

Pitino signed a six-year contract, although the terms have not been disclosed.

Pitino will be announced as the St. John’s coach on Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Pitino will replace coach Mike Anderson, who was fired on March 10.

Rick Pitino Leaves Iona For St. John’s

Pitino leaves Iona University to become the next head coach of the St. John’s Red Storm.

Pitino was hired as the Iona coach in March 2020, three years removed from his firing at the University of Louisville in 2017 after an FBI investigation involving bribes with recruits.

In three years at Iona, Pitino went 64-22 with two MAAC Conference Championships and two appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Pitino thanked the Iona administration, fans, and players in a series of tweets, showing his gratitude to the university for giving him a shot at redemption.

Pitino Brings A Hall Of Fame Resume To St. John’s

Pitino is one of the most decorated coaches in college basketball. He is the only coach to lead three Division I programs (Providence, Kentucky, and Louisville) to the Final Four.

The Hall of Fame coach won a National Championship with Kentucky in 1996 and Louisville in 2013. The Louisville title was later vacated due to an escort sex scandal involving recruits.

Overall, Pitino has won over 700 games, and his teams have made 23 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Pitino could be the coach to bring St. John’s back to prominence. Since 2002, St. John’s has made the NCAA Tournament twice, and the Red Storm appeared in the First Four in 2019.

St. John’s will look to improve upon their 18-15 record this past season, which ended with a quarterfinal loss to Villanova in the Big East Tournament.

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