The St. John’s Red Storm has completed the hire of Iona Gaels Head Coach Rick Pitino as the program’s next Head Coach. This is a return to the big conferences for the legendary Basketball Hall of Fame Head Coach. While he did seem to enjoy his time with Iona, the lure of the New York Big East program was too much to pass up. The former Kentucky Wildcats, Louisville Cardinals, and NBA Head Coach will look to turn around the middle-of-the-road Big East program. The deal between the program and the coach is for six years.
Breaking: Rick Pitino has agreed on a six-year deal to become St. John’s men’s basketball coach, sources told @wojespn and @PeteThamel. pic.twitter.com/YviFfD1Kdi
— ESPN (@espn) March 20, 2023
Rick Pitino spent some time away from college basketball after being fired by the Louisville Cardinals and by his own account he was miserable. He hopes to coach for the foreseeable future and will likely hope to at least coach out this six-year contract. The return to the Iona Gaels was highly anticipated and he saw near immediate success with the smaller program. Now that he is headed to the New York City program, big things will be expected from the legendary Head Coach.
To my players, the last three years. All I can say is you know how much I love you
— Rick Pitino (@RealPitino) March 20, 2023
In his three seasons as the Head Coach of the Iona Gaels, Rick Pitino led the program to an overall record of 64-22 and a MAAC record of 40-9. The team won MAAC regular season and conference championship twice in those three years. They made the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT once. The program improved their record in each of his three years with the Gaels.