Could Rick Pitino be back in the Big East?
According to Zachary Braziller of the New York Post, the Hall of Fame coach plans to meet with higher-ups at St. John’s on Sunday night as the Johnnies look to replace recently fired Mike Anderson.
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Pitino, 70, just led Iona to its second MAAC title in three years as its head coach and was unable to offer any clarity on his coaching future and whether or not he would be back following the Gaels’ NCAA Tournament loss to. UConn last week.
“I really don’t have an answer to it, to be honest with you,” he told reporters after the game. “I have no idea if it is or isn’t because I’ve focused everything on this game.”
Per Braziller, Pitino was nearly hired by St. John’s president Fr. Brian Shanley 12 years ago when he was at Providence and has been “relentless” in his pursuit of the head coach.
Pitino has had a storied career coaching at Boston University, Providence, Kentucky and Louisville in addition to Iona but also one that has been marred in scandal, including an escort sex scandal that led to the NCAA vacating his 2013 NCAA Tournament championship and 2012 and 2013 Big East Tournament championships.
A “pay for play” scandal at Louisville ultimately led to his ouster in 2017.
Despite the controversies, Pitino is a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and has had success at every stop in his collegiate career.
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