Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino hired to be next coach at Iona

Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has been tapped as the next coach of Iona, a source told CBS Sports. Earlier on Saturday, CBS Sports reported that Pitino told his Panathinaikos B.C. players that he would return to coach college basketball this year but still planned to finish the Euroleague season if and when league play resumed. The Euroleague halted play earlier this week due to concerns and precautions regarding the coronavirus pandemic. 

Pitino has returned to the United States, enabling him to interview in an effort to land what would likely be the final college gig of his career. Iona is the pick, the news coming one day after the job officially came open on Friday when Tim Cluess stepped down after taking the year off due to health issues. 

Pitino coached at Louisville from 2001 to 2017 where he won a national championship and went to three Final Fours before being fired in October of 2017 amid a pay-for-play scandal.

Since his ouster, Pitino, 67, has been coaching in Greece for Panathinaikos — and with success. It won the Greek Cup and Greek League last year. He left the team briefly to deal with a family matter but was rehired in November.

“He hated coaching pros, complained about it every day,” a source told CBS Sports.

Pitino’s career record in college is 647-271. 

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