Rick Pitino: I’m finished coaching
Pitino, who was fired last year amid an FBI investigation into corruption in NCAA basketball, is promoting his new book, “Pitino: My story.” In the book, the Hall of Fame coach provides insight into the circumstances that led to his ouster from Louisville and maintains that he knew nothing of improper benefits given to players, including a $100,000 payment Adidas allegedly made to the family of five-star prospect Brian Bowen.Here’s what Pitino said on Wednesday:
“I wrote this book for closure for me and my family to the game,” Pitino said. “I love the game. I still eat, sleep and drink it. I watch every minute of it. I watch your show. I can’t get enough of it. But I’m not going to coach again. It’s been too painful the last three years — the pain of a lifetime.
“I’ll look back at the memories that are in that book and say, ‘You know what, I’ve had a blessed life.'”
“I’m defending myself now. A school doesn’t have to have the right to hire me, [and] they should look at my full-court press, my matchup zone, my offenses, my motion offenses. They shouldn’t have to answer questions about this. It’s not fair to the school that would hire me to have to go through that. So let’s put closure on a career — from the days of growing up here in New York and the Knicks.”
Pitino won national championships in 1996 with Kentucky and in 2013 with Louisville. He was the first coach to win national titles at two schools, and the first to lead three different schools to the Final Four.
Pitino’s résumé includes seven Final Fours, and in 16 seasons at Louisville, he compiled a 416-141 record. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Watch Pitino’s full interview on ESPN below.