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Report: Rick Pitino lands Big East job

Rick Pitino motions with his hand

Iona College men’s basketball head coach Rick Pitino on the sidelines during their game between Iona College and Morgan State at Iona College in New Rochelle, Dec. 8, 2020. Photo Credit: MARK VERGARI/THE JOURNAL NEWS

For legendary college basketball coach Rick Pitino, it appears you can go home again.

After Pitino’s Iona Gaels were ousted in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, reports immediately began to surface about his future. And barring something unforeseen, he appears heading back to where he was born: New York.

John Fanta of FOX Sports reports that St. John’s is finalizing a deal for the Hall of Fame coach and that an agreement could be reached in a matter of days.

Despite that report, Pitino insists he has no idea what the future holds.

“I really don’t have an answer to it, to be honest with you,” Pitino told reporters when asked if he’ll return to Iona. “I have no idea if it is or isn’t because I’ve focused everything on this game.”

That, of course, is coach speak. St. John’s and the 70-year-old Pitino had already had discussions prior to Friday’s game.

The decorated Pitino is the only coach in the history of college basketball to lead three different teams — Providence, Kentucky and Louisville — to the Final Four. He won titles with both Kentucky (1996) and Louisville (2013), but the latter was vacated. He’s also won a total of 711 games over the course of his illustrious career.

For both Pitino and St. John’s, this appears to be a good fit.

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