The word has finally reached Miami that Richard Pitino will be the next head coach at Florida International University.

Nothing official yet from FIU, just a post on a Miami Herald blog. Curiously, the blog is citing a Kentucky blog, as the source. News moves in mysterious ways these days.


Update: Rick Pitino confirmed the news late Sunday in a Washington Post story.

Richard will replace Isiah Thomas who compiled a 26-65 record in three seasons at FIU, including 8-21 this past season.

He’s a graduate of Providence College. Since beginning his coaching career in 2004, he has been an assistant at Florida, Duquesne, Northeastern and College of Charleston, as well as working under his dad for three seasons in two stints with U of L.

Seems like a low-profile school for a Pitino but one has to begin somewhere.

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Here’s hoping there’s no substance to the weekend rumor that Elisha Justice is considering transferring to another program next season. Reports that he was going to Pikeville University were dismissed as premature by C. L. Brown, UofL beat writer for the Courier-Journal.

Justice is a fan favorite at U of L, with a good work ethic. Hailing from Eastern Kentucky, he has handled himself well on and off the court, a real credit to the school. He wanted to play for Pitino, turned down a walk-on opportunity at UK, and now he’s leaving? That’s college basketball these days.

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Rick Pitino has a press conference scheduled Monday, during which he will clarify everything in his own inimitable way.

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By Charlie Springer

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