Rick Pitino Return in Basketball as Lona College new Coach

The Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino was named the new chief of the lads’s basketball program at Iona College on Saturday.

Pitino had coached at Louisville from 2001-17 earlier than being fired in a pay-for-play scandal and had been teaching in Greece. He succeeds Tim Cluess, who resigned as Iona’s coach Friday due to well being issues. Cluess had six N.C.A.A. Tournament appearances in his 10 seasons.

“My passion in basketball started in New York and will end there at Iona College,” Pitino stated in an announcement launched by Iona, a Catholic college in Westchester County with an undergraduate enrollment of about 3,300 college students.

“Tim Cluess has done a spectacular job creating success and a winning spirit,” Pitino added. “At Iona, I will work with the same passion, hunger and drive that I’ve had for over 40 years.”

Pitino, 67, has a 770-271 report in school and have become the primary coach to take three completely different packages to the Final Four. He gained nationwide championships at Louisville (2013) and Kentucky (1996) and likewise went to the Final Four with Providence in 1987.

Pitino twice coached in the N.B.A., with the New York Knicks (1987-89) and the Boston Celtics (1997-2001), the place he was additionally crew president.

Last June, Pitino coached Panathinaikos to the championship in the Greek League.

Pitino nonetheless deliberate to teach the Greek nationwide crew in the Olympic qualifying match scheduled for June, he informed The New York Times in a textual content message. “I’m honoring all my commitments in Greece,” he stated.

Iona President Seamus Carey stated, “after a thorough interview process we are confident that Rick’s experience and commitment to Iona and our community make him the right person to continue to build on Tim Cluess’ success.”

Pitino’s return to school basketball comes practically six months after he and Louisville settled lawsuits stemming from his departure in 2017 in the wake of a federal investigation of corruption in school basketball.

Pitino had sued the University of Louisville Athletic Association for greater than $38.7 million in November 2017, accusing the affiliation of breaching its contract by firing him for trigger. The college had countersued and sought financial damages for vacated video games and bonuses. Pitino acquired no cash in the settlement, together with his personnel file altering from termination to a resignation efficient 13 days earlier than he was fired.

The settlement closed a bitter remaining chapter between the college and Pitino, who wasn’t named in the federal criticism. He repeatedly stated he knew nothing about funds made to the household of a recruit to signal with Louisville.

The college’s acknowledgment of its involvement in the federal investigation got here as it appealed N.C.A.A. penalties that value Louisville its 2013 nationwide championship.

In that case, the governing physique ordered the holiday of 123 victories, together with the Cardinals’ third nationwide title and their 2012 Final Four look, following an escort’s allegations that the previous Louisville staffer Andre McGee had employed her and different dancers to strip and have intercourse with gamers and recruits.

Pitino stated he was unaware of any of the actions described in the e book. While Louisville reiterated in a joint settlement assertion that infractions below his watch led to “serious consequences” for the college, it acknowledged Pitino’s success and dedication to his gamers and thanked him for his service.