Rick Pitino Landing Sites: Ranking the Best Potential Passers With St. John’s, Georgetown Among Chasing Teams

As the coaching carousel turns and enticing big conference jobs pop up, Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino’s name has become more prevalent as Scuttlebutt gets louder and louder about him considering a move from Iona – where he’s been since 2020 is – back to the big leagues of basketball.

Pitino, 70, said CBS Sports Matt Norlander in an exclusive interview recently that he wants to coach “five or six more years,” which would be more than enough time for him to find a new gig, work his magic, and flip a program in his final years. And after his name was officially cleared by the FBI investigation that led to a bitter Louisville exit, he’s been considered a very hot candidate for the offseason.

What program wouldn’t want to reboot around a Hall of Famer coach who has won two national titles and brought three record-breaking programs to the Final Four?

Despite Pitino’s scandals – of which there are several! — the credentials of his coaching acumen are beyond question. Even as one of the older coaches at the Division I level, it’s clear he still has his fastball — winning MAAC the last two seasons and being MAAC Coach of the Year both seasons — so if he’s actually considering Iona to leave the contenders for his services will not be scarce.

What are his options? Where could he go? And what would realistically suit him best at this point in his career?

It’s clear that Pitino will be picky. He likes Winged Foot, which is close to where he lives, and he even admitted to Norlander that housing will be a factor. With that in mind, here are his current options and the best fits for him.

Saint John fired head coach Mike Anderson on Friday After four seasons at the helm of the Red Storm, Pitino has already emerged as the program’s “primary target” to succeed him, reports Norlander. St. John’s has a proud history with deep roots in the Big East, but it hasn’t won an NCAA tournament game in more than two decades and is in dire need of a revival. It would be a complete makeover for Pitino, which in theory would require a tempting offer – heaps of cash – to get him to give up Iona for St John’s and other possible suitors. But if familiarity matters at all, St. John’s should be in the mix, as he doesn’t really need to uproot his life — and could live where he does now — by taking this job.

Another program with a rich history in the Big East, Georgetown, like St. John’s, finds itself after a failed six-year experiment with Patrick Ewing as the program’s coach. Ewing was canned Thursday after a 7-25 season – his second straight season with seven wins or fewer and his third losing season in four years – complicating the appeal of this once-proud program. The Hoyas likely have ample resources to attack him, and he could be forever revered among Georgetown’s faithful if he were to revive the program. Pitino

Pitino told Norlander in February that there are “20 or 30 states I don’t want to live in,” stressing that where he lives is now more important to him than it used to be. So it’s hard to imagine that he would pack up and leave the comfort of New Rochelle, New York, about a 10-minute drive from Winged Foot, to coach a mid-sized Big 12 team in Lubbock, Texas. However, Tech has invested heavily in its program in recent years thanks to the turnaround under Chris Beard and briefly under Mark Adams, who resigned on Wednesday. This is a tough job, however, and it involves battling with the likes of Bill Self, Scott Drew, Jerome Tang and Bob Huggins, where he would likely be overstaffed in talent, lacking resources and a bottom Big 12 team in his own state , this seems like the most unlikely option for him.

Could Providence be a longshot?

Providence coach Ed Cooley feels like a significant other to the brothers, but his name has been mentioned as one possible Georgetown candidate. So if that happened, which feels like a long shot but not an impossibility, it would open up Providence — where Pitino trained in the 1980s — and give him a chance to head to the Big East in a program that’s a lot are currently coming in more stable than both St. John’s and Georgetown (by a very, very large margin). There’s no indication that Cooley is ready/interested in going, but if he did, the brothers and Pitino seem to at least wink and nudge each other to gauge mutual interest, right?

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