An ace recruiter and on-court tactician, Rick Pitino ranks among the great coaches in men’s college basketball history.
A veteran basketball coach, with a history in both the National Basketball Association and the NCAA ranks, Pitino’s reputation is surely most tied to his days in the college game, when he’s directed programs like Boston University, Providence, the University of Kentucky and, currently, the University of Louisville. Pitino also had coaching stints in the NBA with the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
One of his major success stories came at Kentucky, where he delighted the basketball-crazy state by winning the NCAA national championship in 1996, with a team loaded with future NBA players. His UK teams went 26-7 in the NCAA Tourney during his eight-year stint at the school.
His 2013 University of Louisville Cardinals won the National Championship, making Pitino the first NCAA Division I coach in history to win a championship with two different schools. To date, he’s been to seven Final Fours and won two National Championships.
On September 18th, 2013 Pitino was presented with The Ray Meyer College Coach of the Year Award by the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame.
In addition to coaching, Pitino is the author of “Success is a Choice” and “Lead to Succeed.” He is sought-after as a corporate motivational speaker during the off-season.
He was elected into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1999