Former Louisville coach Rick Pitino planning to return to college basketball

Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino told his Panathinaikos B.C. players on Saturday that he will return to coach college basketball this year but will finish out the Euroleague season if and when it resumes, a source told CBS Sports. The league 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. His name has been attached to two openings in particular — Iona and Grand Canyon — due to preexisting relationships with influential people connected to both schools. Iona is considered the leading candidate; 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 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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