rick pitino-louisville basketball INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 19: Head coach Rick Pitino of the Louisville Cardinals reacts against the Michigan Wolverines in the second half during the second round of the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse on March 19, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Rick Pitino is the new head coach of the St. John’s Red Storm.

After days of rumors and speculation, ESPN reported Monday that the legendary coach has agreed to a six-year deal with St. John’s. The official announcement is set for Wednesday.

Details of the contract were not announced, but ESPN described it as a “lucrative financial package.”

While this is a huge opportunity for St. John’s and Pitino, he leaves behind an Iona basketball program that flourished in his three seasons at the helm. The Gaels were 64-22 with Pitino and won a pair of MAAC regular-season titles and two conference tournament championships under his leadership.

The 70-year-old Pitino expressed his gratitude to his Iona players and university officials in a Twitter thread Monday.

“To my players, the last three years. All I can say is you know how much I love you,” Pitino tweeted.

“Follow up, I’m not sad it ended. I’m so grateful it happened,” he said.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to @SeamusCarey13, President of Iona. Thank you to @mglovs23, the AD and to all those people who touched our lives,” Pitino concluded, thanking Iona president Seamus Carey and athletic director Matt Glovaski.

Iona, of course, welcomed Pitino back to the college coaching ranks in 2020 after Louisville had fired him three years earlier in the wake of an FBI investigation into college basketball.

[Rick Pitino; ESPN]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.