According to Andy Katz, Rick Pitino is reporting that his son will take over the reins at Florida International as they move on from the Isiah Thomas era. Richard Pitino is 29 and has coached with his father and Billy Donovan among others. He was most recently an assistant on this year's Louisville team.
It's bittersweet for Rick. While obviously proud, he will surely miss his son. You never get used to it, your offspring leaving so quickly like that.
"You know I'm delighted, but I'm going miss (him) terribly," Rick Pitino said. "I think one of the great things in 35 years of coaching was spending three years with him. Watch him grow as a basketball coach, and you sort of don't want it to end."
Yet, end it does. Accoding to Katz, "FIU refused to confirm that Pitino and the Panthers had agreed on a deal, and players had not yet been told of the move by any school officials as of Sunday afternoon." Pitino indicated that while the contract was not yet signed, a deal was expected.
For Richard, he is walking into a bit of a mess. FIU hasn't had a winning season in 12 years and since the dismissal of Thomas, two verbal commitments have recanted and several current players have asked to be released from the team. That's a lot of pressure for a junior Pitino.