Sources: Pitino in serious conversations for SJU job
12:07 AM ET Pete Thamel Jeff Borzello Close Jeff Borzello ESPN Personnel Author Basketball recruiting expert. Joined ESPN in 2014. Graduate of
University of Delaware.Iona’s Rick Pitino met with St. John’s officials on Sunday, and the sides remain in severe conversations about him becoming the school’s next guys’s basketball coach,
sources informed ESPN.Some clarity from Pitino is expected early today, as he’s been the school’s primary target given that it fired Mike Anderson on March 10. Nothing has altered for St. John’s, which needed to wait for
Iona to lose in the NCAA tournament prior to it might start official discussions.The conference with St. John’s on Sunday functioned as a way for the sides to be familiar with each other more officially and the meeting was deemed efficient, sources told ESPN.Pitino, 70, laid out his vision for the program to St. John’s officials, a source informed ESPN. Pitino engaged with St. John’s authorities about the school’s dedication, as sources said he would be taking the job with the objective to compete for Big East championships and the nationwide title. That will need considerable support both for the program and in the name image and similarity space. And both sides chatted about what’s needed for the program going forward.During the NCAA competition in Albany, New York, Pitino basically acknowledged that he ‘d have the possibility to be the coach at St. John’s. He even hinted in his news conference at the timeline that’s unfolded, as he narrated that he hadn’t been to the school considering that 1987 when Providence College won a game there on a questionable call. Pitino joked that he informed then PC star Billy Donovan to jump in the shower with his shoes on so Providence didn’t have to come back on the court to play the final second.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated”That was the last thing I remember about being at St. John’s,” he said.”That was 1987, people. 1987. So, I don’t remember excessive about it, to inform you the reality, to be perfectly transparent. “You don’t buy homes without taking a look at the garage and the upstairs and the kitchen area and everything.
You don’t simply purchase a home.”Sunday marked Pitino’s chance to look at the house and see the school’s strategy going forward. For St. John’s, it would bring the program the most decorated coach because Lou Carnesecca stepped down in 1992. Pitino is a Hall of Popularity coach who has actually been to 7 Final Fours with 3 various programs.St. John’s has actually been to 2 Last Fours in its history and reached just three NCAA competitions because 2002. Pitino has actually won two nationwide titles, both at Kentucky and Louisville, and coached in 23 NCAA tournaments.Over that span given that 2002, St. John’s has churned through Mike Jarvis, Standard Roberts, Steve Lavin, Chris Mullin and Anderson as head coaches.Pitino is from New York, coached with the Knicks as both an assistant under Hubie Brown and as the franchise’s head coach from 1987 to 1989. His go back to the city would immediately kick start the school’s significance in the local sports scene, which had actually faded in recent years.Both Pitino’s career and St. John’s program appear to be
intersecting sometimes when they require each other. Louisville fired Pitino in October 2017 following an FBI examination into college basketball, which ultimately resulted in a job in Greece prior to taking the Iona task in 2020. The Cardinals were linked to the investigation through claims that Adidas paid $100,000 to the family of first-class possibility Brian Bowen to guide him to Louisville. Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were both fired for cause.The NCAA spared Pitino of any penalty when the Independent Resolution Panel revealed its penalties against Louisville last November.”I needed to wait 5 years for them to generally stall my career out to finally get exonerated,”Pitino stated at the NCAA competition Saturday.”It was exonerated by an impartial committee made up of legal people, legal individuals, not ADs and not individuals– they handpick. So for five years they put me in the outhouse because they couldn’t get their stuff together.”So it’s just the breaks of the game. You can’t look back. The past, it’s always treasured.
You learn from it, you value the past. I’ve been to 7 Last Fours, two championships, and I treasure that. I also gain from the errors that were made.”