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Rick Pitino Returns To Big Apple! Hall Of Famer Signs With St. John's
Rick Pitino is back in the Big Apple.

More than 34 years after coaching the , the 70-year-old Hall of Famer has agreed to a deal to coach a St.















John`s University in Queens - a former Big East power that has gone dormant in recent years. A source confirmed the ESPN report to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the school had not yet made the announcement. Pitino is expected to be formally introduced by St.































John`s during a Latest News conference Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

The move puts the Hall of Fame coach back in the Big East Conference, looking to boost a storied St. John`s program that`s been mired in mediocrity for much of this century.



that it is a six-year deal for Pitino, although financial terms have not been disclosed.

Pitino has been coaching at Iona in nearby New Rochelle, New York since 2020.































He brought the Gaels back to the NCAA Tournament for a second time in three seasons this year before suffering a first-round loss to .

More than 34 years after coaching the New York Knicks , the 70-year-old Hall of Famer has reportedly agreed to a deal to coach a St.































John`s University in Queens - a former Big East power that has gone dormant in recent years

Rick Pitino left Providence College - a Big East rival of St.































John`s - to coach the Knicks in 1987

Pitino broke into the Big East as a head coach at Providence in 1986 and made one of the most memorable Final Four runs in tournament history with the Friars in 1987.

He`s been coaching college basketball so long that he was on the opposing bench with Big East rival Providence when St.















John`s was a national power in the mid-1980s under Lou Carnesecca, who is now 98.

Now, Pitino is tasked with invigorating a Red Storm squad that hasn`t won an NCAA Tournament game — or even reached the Big East semifinals — since 2000.































The school has made only three NCAA appearances over the past two decades, the most recent coming in 2019 under Chris Mullin.

Pitino has been to seven Final Fours and won a pair of NCAA championships, one each at Kentucky (1996) and Louisville (2013).

He was dismissed at Louisville in 2017 after an FBI investigation into college basketball corruption led to allegations of NCAA violations.































It was the third scandal, professional and personal, in an eight-year period with the Cardinals — but Pitino was eventually exonerated in the FBI-related case.

`So for five years they put me in the outhouse because they couldn`t get their stuff together,` Pitino recently told reporters.

`So it`s just the breaks of the game.















You can`t look back. The past, it`s always cherished. You learn from it, you cherish the past. I`ve been to seven Final Fours, two championships, and I cherish that. I also learn from the mistakes that were made,` he said.

After resigning in Boston, Pitino resurfaced with his former rival, Louisville, in 2001

Pitino has won national championships with Kentucky and Louisville, but he was fired by Louisville before the 2017-18 season after an FBI investigation into college basketball led to allegations of NCAA violations

Pitino has been coaching college basketball so long that he was on the opposing bench with Big East rival Providence when St.































John`s was a national power in the mid-1980s under Lou Carnesecc (in the sweater) a, who is now 98

Pitino was 64-22 in three years with Iona of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, including two NCAA Tournament appearances. The small Catholic school in New Rochelle, New York, just north of the city, hired him with the NCAA cloud still over his head, but it`s a long way from the Big East.

He lamented earlier this week the pressure of being in a one-NCAA bid conference.































After getting routed by UConn in the second half, he talked about how the Gaels just couldn`t match up physically with one of the best teams in the country.

`The present is where we`re at right now, and it`s disappointing for my guys because they`re a great group of kids,` Pitino said.















`In the future, I have really no idea what the future may bring because I`ve got to look at the grand scheme of things about winning, and winning is very important because we all work so hard, every coach works so hard.`

There are currently two NBA coaches who played for Pitino: Chicago`s Billy Donovan at Providence College and Indiana`s Rick Carlisle with the Knicks. 

Pitino also previously coached former Philadelphia 76ers coach Brent Brown at Boston University. 

Bill Russell, left, and Boston Celtics coach Rick Pitino talk after a pre-season workout at the Celtics` training facility in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1999.































Pitino would resign in 2001

In 34 full seasons as a college head coach, he has led each of the five schools he has coached to the NCAA Tournament, won national championships at Kentucky and Louisville, and has a .741 winning percentage.

He had two stints in the NBA, one with the New York Knicks, and another with the Boston Celtics that didn`t produce a playoff appearance.































But in college, Pitino has had just one losing season.

`Probably the best basketball coach I`ve seen or gone up against,` said Boeheim, who hired Pitino as an assistant at Syracuse in 1976.

A few days before this season started, the NCAA`s outside arm of enforcement, the Independent Accountability Resolutions Process, announced it had found `no violation by (Pitino) occurred given that he demonstrated he promoted an atmosphere of compliance.`

Iona and Pitino celebrated the ruling, but it`s not the only blemish on his resume.

The 2013 NCAA championship won Pitino won at Louisville was later vacated after an investigation found an assistant coach paid escorts and exotic dancers to entertain players and recruits in campus dorms.

There were also personal improprieties revealed during a criminal case against a woman who was found guilt of trying to extort Pitino.

Two current NBA coaches played for Rick Pitino, including Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle, pictured seated behind Pitino in this shot from 1987

For all of his successes, Pitino`s tenure with the Boston Celtics was a disaster, even with the presence of his former Kentucky stars such as Antoine Walker (right)

Before Pitino could serve his five-game suspension for the earlier NCAA case, he was fired by Louisville in 2017 when his program was implicated in the FBI case.

`He did have a couple of things, yeah,` Boeheim said.































`That`s not a lot when you look at more than 40 years.`

New Mexico coach Richard Pitino, Rick`s son and former assistant, said that as the leader of a program, his father was accountable for the actions of those who worked for him.

`He was held responsible.































If people are still outraged by it, I would just tell them they need to move on. Because it wasn`t like he didn`t go through a lot,` Richard Pitino told the AP. `You know he was fired. He ended up having to coach out of this country for two years. He then goes and takes Iona, which he was fortunate to get.`

After a season out of coaching and two coaching in Greece, Iona took a calculated risk in hiring Pitino when his reputation was tarnished, banking on him not being punished for allegations related to the FBI investigation.

There is a Providence link between Pitino and St.































John`s right now.

St. John`s President, the Rev. Brian Shanley, was previously at the Rhode Island school, where he contributed to a revival of the basketball program that included investments in facilities and the hiring of coach Ed Cooley.

Pitino said Shanley tried to lure him back to Providence when he was at Louisville.

`I spoke to Ed Cooley the other day, said (Shanley`s) a superstar,` Pitino said.

Pitino talked about how good he has it at Iona, where he has a president and athletic director who provide all the support he needs and four starters expected back next season.

Is he up for another rebuild?

`It`s going to take a special place for me to consider leaving,` he said earlier this month.

Apparently, Carnesecca Arena is that special place.  

Pitino talks to the media outside the locker room after the game against the Florida State Seminoles at the Donald L.































Tucker Center on January 21, 2017 in Tallahassee

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