Rick Pitino is the new coach of the St. John’s Red Storm.
But he might still be with the Louisville Cardinals if a major recruiting scandal hadn’t run him out of town.
Given Pitino’s dubious ethical history, it was curious on Tuesday, during his introductory press conference, when St. John’s athletic director Mike Cragg claimed that the relationship with his newest employee would be a “marriage of doing things the right way.”
.@StJohnsBBall AD Mike Cragg:
“This is a marriage between winning and doing thing the right way and we’re going to elevate all of New York City together.” https://t.co/T1uHRAYqpk
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 21, 2023
It remains to be seen how elevated New York City will become under Pitino’s new employer.
The legendary coach is certainly up for the task.
“One of my great coaching memories was having the distinct privilege of coaching against Lou Carnesecca and St John’s, a Hall of Fame coach and historic program that I have always respected,” Pitino said in a statement. “It is surreal to now have this opportunity to bring St John’s back to prominence. I’m honored, humbled and grateful to Fr. Shanley, Bill Janetschek and Mike Cragg for making me feel so special.”
Pitino is one of two coaches to take three different schools (Providence, Kentucky and Louisville) to the Final Four. He has an all-time record of 711-290. He left the Iona Gaels to pursue the job with St. John’s.