Rick Pitino Will Return To NCAA Basketball As Iona’s Men’s Hoop Coach

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Rick Pitino will repatriate his basketball-coaching skills.

Iona College athletic director Matt Glovaski told CBS’ Jon Rothstein the school will hire the legendary coach to lead its men’s basketball program next season.

Pitino, the current coach of Greece’s Panathinaikos B.C, told the team he’ll be leaving later this year in order to secure a job in college basketball, CBS’ Matt Norlander reported Saturday. Pitino reportedly will finish Panathinaikos’ season if EuroLeague play resumes then return stateside.

Pitino wants to return to the college ranks because he doesn’t enjoy working with paid players, Norlander wrote, siting sources.

“He hated coaching pros, complained about it every day,” the source told Norlander.

Panathinaikos hired Pitino in December 2018. He led the team to Greek League and Cup titles last year.

Pitino once was an iconic figure in college basketball. He coached Kentucky and Louisville to national championships and amassed a 647-241 record. The NCAA vacated Louisville’s 2013 triumph, however, and the school fired him in 2017 after his¬†alleged involvement in college basketball’s recruiting and bribery scandal.

Pitino closed the door on coaching in the NCAA or NBA in 2018. However, the door seems to have swung open for him over time.

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Thumbnail photo via Thomas Joseph/USA TODAY Sports Images

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