College Basketball
Sources: St. John's intends to hire Rick Pitino as head basketball coach
College Basketball

Sources: St. John's intends to hire Rick Pitino as head basketball coach

Updated Mar. 18, 2023 6:10 p.m. ET

St. John’s has one goal in mind now: Complete a deal with Rick Pitino to be the Red Storm’s next head coach.

Sources close to the program tell FOX Sports that the university plans to finalize a deal with the Hall of Famer in the coming days. It has been reported that Pitino has a mutual interest in taking over the Red Storm. Now, the ball is in Pitino's court.

Pitino's Iona Gaels concluded their season with an 87-63 loss to UConn on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. 

Pitino, 70, is the only coach in college basketball history to lead three programs — Providence, Kentucky and Louisville — to the Final Four, and has won 711 games in his coaching career. He won national championship in 1996 (Kentucky) and 2013 (Louisville, which was later vacated).


For St. John’s university president Brian Shanley and athletic director Mike Cragg, this coaching search is about turning the Red Storm back into a relevant force in college basketball, sources tell FOX Sports. The program missed four straight NCAA Tournaments under Mike Anderson and has not won a game in the big dance in 23 years.

For Pitino, who lives at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y., the prospect of coaching St. John’s means he does not have to move, with the course being roughly 23 miles from the St. John’s University campus.

The move back to Queens gives him the opportunity to step foot back in the Big East Conference, where he was from 1985-87 while at Providence, then from 2005-13 while at Louisville.

For a St. John’s program that has spent several years off the national map in college basketball, this move to hopefully acquire Pitino, who’s no longer tied down to NCAA investigation or threat of sanctions, signals a clear desire to win by the Red Storm and to return to relevance in New York City.

John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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