Rick Pitino returns to highschool basketball as Iona coach

By | March 15, 2020

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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — Corridor of Famer Rick Pitino used to be named basketball coach at Iona College on Saturday.

Pitino coached at Louisville from 2001-17 earlier than being fired in a pay-for-play scandal and had been teaching in Greece. He replaces Tim Cluess, who resigned Friday due to health considerations after 10 years and 6 NCAA Tournament appearances.

“My passion in basketball started in Unique York and can aloof cease there at Iona College,” Pitino acknowledged in an announcement launched by the Catholic college situated north of Unique York Metropolis in suburban Westchester County that has an undergraduate enrollment of 3,300 college students.

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“Tim Cluess has done a spectacular job developing success and a worthwhile spirit,” Pitino added. “At Iona, I could work with the same passion, hunger and drive that I’ve had for over 40 years.”

“At Iona, I could work with the same passion, hunger and drive that I’ve had for over 40 years.”

— Rick Pitino

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino was fired by the University of Louisville after the launch of a federal fraud investigation. (Associated Press)

Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino used to be fired by the College of Louisville after the launch of a federal fraud investigation. (Associated Press)

The 67-year-faded Pitino has a 770-271 total legend at school and grew to changed into the first coach to make a decision on three completely different colleges to the Closing Four. He obtained national championships at Louisville (2013) and Kentucky (1996) and also went to the Closing Four with Windfall in 1987.

Pitino coached twice within the NBA, with the Unique York Knicks (1987-89) and the Boston Celtics (1997-2001), where he used to be also group president.

Last June, Pitino coached Panathinaikos to the championship within the Greek League.

Iona President Seamus Carey acknowledged “after an intensive interview task we are confident that Rick’s skills and dedication to Iona and our neighborhood plot him the upright person to proceed to fabricate on Tim Cluess’ success.”

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Pitino’s return to highschool basketball comes nearly six months after he and Louisville settled complaints stemming from his departure within the wake of a federal investigation of corruption at school basketball.

The coach had sued the College of Louisville Athletic Affiliation for higher than $38.7 million in November 2017, alleging its breached its contract by firing him for motive the outdated month. The college had countersued and sought financial damages for vacated games and bonuses. Pitino obtained no money within the settlement, alongside with his personnel file changing from termination to a resignation efficient 13 days earlier than he used to be fired.

The settlement closed a bitter closing chapter between the college and Pitino, who wasn’t named within the federal complaint. He many cases acknowledged he knew nothing about funds made to the family of a recruit to signal with Louisville.

The college’s acknowledgement of its involvement within the federal investigation came about as it appealed NCAA sanctions that trace Louisville its 2013 national championship.

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If that’s the case, the governing physique ordered the vacation of 123 victories, including the Cardinals’ third national title and their 2012 Closing Four appearance, following an escort’s guide allegations that feeble Louisville males’s basketball staffer Andre McGee hired her and completely different dancers to strip and bear intercourse with avid gamers and recruits.

Pitino acknowledged he used to be blind to any of the activities described within the guide. While Louisville reiterated in a joint settlement assertion that infractions under his stumble on led to “excessive penalties” for the college, it acknowledged Pitino’s success and dedication to his avid gamers and thanked him for his service.