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)

As Rick Pitino’s Iona Gaels punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament Saturday, thoughts turned to his future.

The 70-year-old Pitino is being talked about as being the next head coach at St. John’s, a job that’s open after the Red Storm fired Mike Anderson. But after Iona’s 76-55 victory over Marist in the MAAC Tournament, Pitino said moving to St. John’s is a thought that as of now has not crossed his mind.

“My interest lies with my team. I’m very thankful to Iona University,” he told Zach Braziller of The New York Post.

Pitino thinks the rumors started because he and St. John’s Rev. Brian Shanley both worked in the past at Providence College. Providence was Pitino’s first big coaching job in college basketball.

“But you have to understand one thing: The biggest factor in my life is winning,” Pitino said. “More so than the Big East, more so than anything. Winning is the most important thing in my life. In two years in league play, we are 35-6 — 35-6. … If I ever moved, I’d have to have a firm belief that the job I take, wherever it may be, can win like Iona, and I’m not sure there are [many] of those out there.”

Pitino (seen above in 2017 with Louisville) sounded as if he was content with where he is. Unlike previous jobs he has had before, he is under no pressure to make the NCAA Tournament every year or win a national championship.

Age may also be a factor. Would Pitino at 70, want to take on another challenge at this point in his life? As per his public comments so far, maybe not.

[The New York Post]

About Stacey Mickles

Stacey is a 1995 graduate of the University of Alabama who has previously worked for other publications such as Sportskeeda and Saturday Down South.