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#pounditSaturday, September 24, 2022

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino could be candidate for big college coaching vacancy?

Rick Pitino

A new set of rumors indicates that Rick Pitino could once again find himself coaching in a power conference at some point in the near future.

A report on “The Sports Junkies” radio show on 106.7 The Fan in Washington claimed Wednesday that Pitino is being “heavily pursued” by Maryland. Last week, Jeff Ermann of InsideMDSports had named Pitino as a “wildcard” candidate for the position when discussing potential hires.

Hiring Pitino would certainly be controversial. He is currently in his second season at Iona, and has the Gaels well-positioned for a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The 69-year-old is one of the most accomplished college coaches still active, and has over 800 wins to his name. Of course, Pitino also has a spotty record behind the scenes, and lost his job at Louisville over allegations that he was involved in a recruiting bribery scheme.

Pitino was said to be the subject of interest of another Big Ten school last year, but he shot that down in no uncertain terms. That said, he’s made bold statements before that did not come true, and it’s tough to imagine him turning Maryland down if the Terps really do come calling.

Maryland is in the hunt for a replacement for Mark Turgeon, who stepped down from the head coaching position in December.

Rick Pitino rooting for former assistant coach in Final Four

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino has a rooting interest in the Final Four thanks to one of his former assistant coaches.

UCLA coach Mick Cronin was an assistant to Pitino at Louisville from 2001-2003. He’s been very successful since then, reaching the NCAA Tournament with Murray State and finding further success with Cincinnati and UCLA. Pitino made clear Wednesday he’s pulling for Cronin with the Bruins in the Final Four.

It’s been a pretty solid tournament for Pitino proteges. Alabama’s Nate Oats, who has openly spoken of his admiration for Pitino, actually faced Pitino in the first round and won.

Cronin has been making headlines for all the right reasons this March. Maybe he has a little bit of Pitino’s old magic behind him.

Here is what Rick Pitino said about the Indiana job

Rick Pitino

The Indiana Hoosiers are looking for a new head basketball coach after firing Archie Miller this week. Rick Pitino has done so well at Iona and has such a history of strong performances, that his name has come up for the job.

But the 68-year-old coach says he is not a candidate for the job.

Jeff Goodman believes Pitino is indicating that he has a huge buyout from Iona.

Pitino heading to Indiana given the NCAA trouble he’s had seems like it would be a real longshot. If Indiana wants to go with a proven veteran coach who is available, there is one who is already favored to get the job.

Rick Pitino makes history as Iona clinches surprise tournament bid

Rick Pitino

The Iona Gaels, coached by Rick Pitino, are going dancing.

The Gaels, who were the ninth seed in the MAAC Tournament, defeated Fairfield 60-51 on Saturday to secure the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. It’s quite the story for multiple reasons, among them Pitino joining elite company in taking a fifth different school to the Big Dance.

Iona’s season has been marked by multiple COVID-19 pauses. The Gaels didn’t play any games between Dec. 23 and Feb. 12, but won the conference tournament anyway. In fact, their low seeding was not because the team struggled, but because they entered the tournament having played only nine conference games.

Pitino has been embroiled in multiple NCAA scandals, which cost him his job at Louisville and essentially forced him into exile in the Greek league. This was his first year as coach at Iona, and the team had to overcome a lot of hurdles to get where they did Saturday. Like him or not, there’s a reason Pitino is regarded as one of the best coaches in the business.

Rick Pitino suggests ‘May Madness’ to ‘save’ college basketball season

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino is concerned about whether the college basketball season can be played on schedule, and he has some suggestions to try to help that process.

With ongoing concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic — and a spate of cancellations in college football this weekend — Pitino suggested that the start of the season be delayed. Pitino believes it is “impossible” to play right now, but thinks it would be doable with the institution of a conference-only schedule and “May Madness.”

Pitino’s idea is just one of many that could be implemented for the season. There have been others that are far more radical.

The 68-year-old Pitino is about to embark on his first season as head coach at Iona, his first job since being forced out at Louisville due to NCAA rules violations.

Rick Pitino praises Knicks’ ‘great’ coaching hires

Rick Pitino

Count Rick Pitino among those who are very happy with the direction of the New York Knicks.

Pitino went out of his way on Twitter Saturday to praise the Knicks’ recent coaching moves. He not only gave plaudits to the hiring of Tom Thibodeau, but he also was pleased with the addition of Kenny Payne as an assistant.

If the Knicks turn it around quickly, it appears that you heard it from Pitino first.

Pitino, now the head coach at Iona, is a New Yorker, and he coached the Knicks for two seasons. He wants to see them do well. If they’d taken his advice three years ago, they’d probably be in a lot better shape, but better late than never.

Iona standing by Rick Pitino after Louisville notice of allegations

Rick Pitino

Louisville’s latest round of potential NCAA violations has Rick Pitino under the microscope again.

On Monday, Louisville received a notice of allegations from the NCAA accusing the school of breaking rules relating to the recruitment of Brian Bowen. The letter charges Pitino directly with a Level II violation for failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance at the school.

Pitino was recently hired by Iona, and the school released a statement backing its new basketball coach.

Bowen’s recruitment led to the end of Pitino’s Louisville tenure. The coach was fired after a federal investigation alleged that an Adidas executive paid Bowen $100,000 to commit to Louisville. Pitino maintained innocence, and continues to do so.

Iona knew what it was signing up for by hiring Pitino. Don’t expect them to cut ties over this or anything else that may have happened at his previous college job.

Rick Pitino wants his Iona team to face Kentucky

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino has big plans for his Iona basketball team.

The new head coach of the Gaels is ready and willing to face off against Kentucky in a true road game provided the Wildcats return the favor and face Iona at Madison Square Garden as part of a home-and-home.

Pitino has a long history with Kentucky. He spent eight years as coach there and won a national title, then spent time at rival Louisville. Beyond that, he’s clearly eager to challenge the best, even before coaching a game in his new job. That’s why he’s making bets with his son, too.

Rick Pitino, son Richard make interesting bet on WrestleMania match

Rick Pitino

Rick Pitino is officially back to coaching college basketball, and he is already angling for a way to coach against his son. Apparently we may see that happen as soon as next season, and the big WrestleMania match on Sunday night could determine where the game is played.

The Pitino family is apparently filled with big wrestling fans, and Rick proposed a friendly bet to Richard on Saturday. The new Iona coach bet his son, who coaches Minnesota, that that the Gophers will have to play at Iona next season is Brock Lesnar beats Drew McIntyre. Richard Pitino responded that he doesn’t want to root against Minnesota, who is a Gophers alum, so the terms of the bet were reversed. If Lesnar wins, Iona will play at Minnesota next season — or so the two Pitinos say.

The younger Pitino joked on Sunday that he made the bet with his dad because there’s “nothing else to do.”

Rick Pitino also shared a photo of his grandkids on Saturday showing that they were ready for WrestleMania 36.

Rick was named the head coach of Iona last month, while Richard has been coaching at Minnesota since 2013. WrestleMania was pre-recorded due to the coronavirus pandemic and split into a two-night event, and the first night already featured some entertaining moments. The Pitino family will have even more to watch for on Sunday.

Rick Pitino issues statement after becoming Iona coach

Rick Pitino is heading back to college basketball, and he sounds thrilled.

The veteran coach reached an agreement with Iona to become the new basketball coach. He issued a statement after the news was confirmed, suggesting that he plans for this to be his final coaching stop.

A deal between Pitino and Iona came together quickly on Saturday, and Pitino gets his return to college after being fired over the Louisville recruiting scandal in 2017. He had claimed he didn’t want to come back to the college ranks, but this makes it pretty clear it was his dream all along.