Up until a couple of seasons ago, questions surrounding Rick Pitino’s future dealt with whether he would return to the professional basketball ranks or accept another college coaching job elsewhere. This time around the issue is retirement and how much longer the University of Louisville coach will stick around.

Rick Pitino

Pitino first mentioned the possibility of retiring last season when his team got knocked out of the Big East tournament. He later said he had made a personal assessment of whether he wanted to continue coaching. He brought it up again this week after his team lost to Morehead State in the first round of the the NCAA tournament., indicating that if he were going to retire, he would want to go out with a group like the kind of players he had on this season’s team.

The man has done pretty well with what he’s had to work with, even though many Louisville fans are disappointed that he has yet to win another national championship. The expectations of the fans and the aspirations he has for himself are steep, making the early outs in NCAA tournament action so much more disappointing.

With the recruiting class Pitino is bringing in next season, he will be working with the most talented group of players he’s had in 11 seasons at U of L. Bringing in top-level talent for a change might make a difficult job a little easier. 

With Pitino, however, one never knows for certain. What he says and does are often two different things. He obviously enjoys the attention and nobody enjoys winning anymore than he. He may be around for a couple of more seasons, or he may be one of those guys who has to be pushed out the door.

The only thing for certain is he’s thinking about his legacy, or he wouldn’t keep bringing up the subject of retirement. Reaching the pinnacle again might make his decision easier.

Charlie Springer

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

7 thoughts on “Rick Pitino keeps bringing up retirement

  • March 18, 2011 at 4:30 pm
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    I just hope when Rick decides to hang it up we aren’t left with Ralph.

  • March 18, 2011 at 9:49 pm
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    Willard is the last guy we need and Jurich is too smart to hire him. Massiello ain’t the guy either, he’s a liability. Only guy on the staff worth keeping is David Padgett and he needs more experience.

    Regardless of the players Pitino brings in next season he won’t have big men who can play in the Big East. Buckles is scared to death of playing under the basket. Pitino doesn’t know to coach big men. He’ll spend all next year making the excuse “we’re very young”.

  • March 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm
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    His contract has 6 more years on it – right?
    I was mortified with the loss. Frankly, he does over use the statement “were are very young.” Maybe, we are starting to hear, “I am too old and over paid to figure out what to do anymore…” Sorry – but his statements are getting old and maybe it is time to focus on who should replace him in the next few years.I really hate saying that because he has had such success in the past.

  • March 18, 2011 at 10:17 pm
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    You don’t think Willard has a chance do you? I wonder because isn’t that why he picked him to begin with?

  • March 19, 2011 at 12:15 am
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    I really like pitino but i think it is time for him to go.
    I know we can not fire him but i would like to see him retire. I am really tired of always having to say, wait till next year. Yes we had a decent year, but march is what counts and he isnt getting it done ne more. We need to start thinking about our future, and pitino is not our future. I hope he feels the heat because next year is the last year he is getting fromj me.

  • March 19, 2011 at 7:01 am
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    Pitino isn’t going anywhere yet. He stressed that he said ‘better season(s)ahead for his Cards beginning next year’. That would indicate more than one. With just Goode and Knowles gone, and a excellent class coming in, the Cards will finally cross that bridge that Rick keeps talking about. This year’s team did overacheive, quite honestly, and was a joy to watch. Except for Thursday. I suspect that either Mr. Donovan or Willard the Younger will be waiting a few years before coming to the Ville to coach.

  • March 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm
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    quit acting like Cat fans, always making excuses. Pitino is a great coach, he may be here 6 more years and he may go next year. Write it down….. Billy D is next coach at UL

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