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Rick Pitino    

Head Coach of St. John's Men's Basketball Team

One of the winningest coaches in NCAA Division I history, Rick Pitino was named the 22nd head coach in the history of St. John’s Men’s Basketball program on March 20, 2023.

During his 35 seasons as a collegiate head coach, Pitino has established a stellar reputation for excellence on the court and a dedication to student-athlete academic success. Pitino, who brings an 834-293 career head coaching record to Queens, has made 23 NCAA Tournament appearances with five different schools and advanced to the Final Four seven times, a total reached by only six coaches all-time.

Pitino became the first coach to take three different schools to the Final Four and the first coach to win an NCAA Championship at two different schools. With a 54-21 record in the NCAA Tournament, Pitino holds the third-highest winning percentage in NCAA Tournament games (.720) among all active coaches. Off the court, he has served as a charitable benefactor for a broad spectrum of worthy causes, often choosing to do so anonymously.

Prior to leading Iona University to three-straight postseasons appearances with two trips to the NCAA Tournament, Pitino served as head coach of the University of Louisville (2001-2017, winning the 2013 NCAA Championship), University of Kentucky (1989-1997, winning the 1996 NCAA Championship), Providence College (1985-1987), Boston University (1978-1983) and Hawaii (last six games, 1975-76).

Pitino’s teams have won 14 tournament championships and he owns a collective 55-16 conference tournament record (.774). At Kentucky, his teams posted an incredible 17-1 Southeastern Conference (SEC) tournament mark. His coaching resume also features three BIG EAST Tournament titles while at Louisville in 2009, 2012 and 2013. In addition, Pitino has mentored 29 players who were drafted or have played in the NBA. His 1996 NCAA Championship team at Kentucky featured seven future NBA performers.

Pitino was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, a tribute to a lifetime of impressive basketball achievement.

Over the last three seasons as head coach at Iona University, Pitino led the Gaels to a 64-22 overall record with a 40-9 mark in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). A two-time MAAC Coach of the Year, Pitino led the Gaels to a pair of MAAC regular season titles and two tournament championships. Iona made trips to the NCAA Tournament in 2021 and 2023 while earning a berth in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) in 2022.

Pitino spent 16 seasons as head coach at Louisville and led the Cardinals to a 416-143 overall record from 2001-2017. While at Louisville, he took the Cards to the NCAA Tournament 13 times, making seven Sweet 16 appearances, six trips to the Elite Eight, three Final Fours and a National Championship. Louisville set a school record with 35 wins in its national championship campaign in 2012-13.

For three and a half years prior to Louisville, Pitino served as president and head coach of the NBA’s Boston Celtics. He also spent four years coaching the New York Knicks, beginning as an assistant coach under Hubie Brown from 1983-85 before returning to serve as head coach from 1987-89. During the 1988-89 season, the Knicks won 52 games and swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

From 1989-97, Pitino served as the head coach at Kentucky, guiding the Wildcats to three NCAA Final Four appearances in his last five years. The Wildcats posted a 219-50 overall record (.814) under Pitino, winning the 1996 NCAA Championship and reaching the national title game in 1997.

Pitino, 70, got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Hawai’i in 1974 and served as a full-time assistant there in 1975-76 before a brief six-game stint as head coach prior to season’s end. He served two seasons as an assistant coach at Syracuse from 1976-78, before earning his first head coaching job at Boston University in 1978. Pitino produced a 91-51 record in five years at BU, departing as the most successful coach in program history. In his final season, he guided the Terriers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 24 years.

After his two years as an assistant with the New York Knicks, Pitino was the head coach at Providence College for two seasons from 1985-87, producing a 42-23 record with the Friars. He guided Providence to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1986, followed by a trip to the Final Four in 1987.

Pitino also has international coaching experience, leading the Puerto Rico national team in three 2015 summer competitions and Panathinaikos B.C. in the EuroLeague from 2018-20.

Pitino is a 1974 graduate of Massachusetts, where he was a standout guard for the Minutemen’s basketball team.

Born Sept. 18, 1952, Pitino is a native of New York City where he was a standout guard for St. Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, Long Island from 1966-70.

Pitino and his wife Joanne have five children, Michael, Christopher, Richard, Ryan and Jacqueline, and 14 grandchildren.

Speech Topics

Success Is a Choice

Rick Pitino takes the same proven methods that have earned him and his teams legendary status in the NCAA to give you a plan of attack for achieving extraordinary success in your own life. Rick Pitino's ten-step plan isn't for quitters or for people looking for the easy road to success. But neither is it for the superstar talents or those with a Midas touch who expect their luck to hold forever. "Success Is a Choice" is for anyone who is serious about making dreams reality. It's a tool for preparing yourself for the challenges you face - from developing habits and discipline that will get you started down the path to success to learning the value of ferocious persistence as you begin to reach and surpass your goals. Basketball fans have already recognized Rick Pitino's ability to get the most from his players. His message applies just as well off the court. An inspiring step-by-step program that will motivate almost anyone to perform better, "Success Is a Choice" can make a remarkable difference in your own life.


Men's basketball coach Rick Pitino 'effectively fired' amid FBI probe ...
University of Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on administrative leave on Wednesday amid an FBI ...

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