Pitino torn between five candidates for assistant coaching spot

Rick Pitino still needs one more assistant basketball coach at the University of Louisville  after announcing the addition of Richard Pitino, Jr. and Wyking Jones to his staff Tuesday. He’s undecided on the third choice.

Pitino said Tuesday he is trying to decide between five candidates. “They’re all equal, they’re all great,” he said. “We will announce the name as soon as we make up our minds.”

He indicated that his son has played a key role in the search for the other two assistants. “I gave him a list of criteria and told him to go and find people who meet them.”

The criteria apparently is topped by recruiting, recruiting and recruiting in that order. The assistants get two-year contracts with major buyout clauses if they decide to go elsewhere in the future.

“I’m not looking for someone who wants to be a head coach and I’m telling them that,” said Pitino. “I want people who are ready to hit the road and get Louisville where we want to be.”

Other Pitino notes:

  • Says Jared Swopshire is getting better, has been using the treadmill and may be back before Rakeem Buckles is ready to return.
  • Says he is taking the approach that he doesn’t expect Terrence Jennings to return after submitting his name for the NBA draft. “I learned my lesson with Samardo,” he said.
  • The appeal to take his team to Puerto Rico was turned down by the NCAA. The primary reason Pitino took the job was so U of L could play against the Puerto Rico  national team. That not being possible, Pitino may opt out of the trip.
  • His team may travel to The Bahamas where they would be able to compete against a national team.
  • He will be meeting with some possible transfers into the program next Monday.
  • David Padgett, assistant strength coach, is “in on a couple of jobs” and may not return next season.
  • Richard’s baby girl was born Monday in Gainesville. 

More coverage of the press conference at Cardinal Laws.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.