Reports: Rick Pitino reaches 6-year deal with St. John’s

Rick Pitino has agreed in principle to leave Iona to become the new coach at St. John’s, multiple outlets reported Monday.

ESPN reports it’s a six-year deal, with CBS Sports reporting the deal is worth roughly $20 million.

An announcement is expected later Monday with a Tuesday press conference at Madison Square Garden. Pitino informed his players during a meeting Monday afternoon, per the reports.

The news comes the same day that Ed Cooley officially left Providence to take over the reins at Georgetown.

Pitino, 70, is the only coach to lead three different schools to the Final Four — Providence, Kentucky and Louisville. He won titles at the latter two, though his 2013 title with the Cardinals was vacated by a recruiting scandal.

St. John’s has not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2000 and last appeared in the tourney in 2019, when it was bounced from the First Four.

St. John’s courted Pitino — and reportedly only him — after firing Mike Anderson earlier this month. But with Iona in the NCAA Tournament, the sides weren’t able to talk until Sunday, when Pitino laid out his vision for the program.

Pitino is listed by NCAA Statistics to have an official record of 711-290. He went 64-22 in three seasons at Iona, leading the Gaels to the NCAA tourney twice. Iona won the MAAC regular-season title in 2021-22 but lost in its conference tournament.

Pitino began his coaching career with Hawaii, Boston University and Providence before Kentucky and Louisville. He also was a head coach for six NBA seasons, spending two with the New York Knicks before four with the Boston Celtics.