St. John’s Red Storm hire two-time NCAA Tournament champion Rick Pitino as head coach

In its 116-year history, the St. John’s Red Storm have never made a bigger hire for their men’s basketball team than adding two-time NCAA Tournament champion coach Rick Pitino as they did on Monday afternoon.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 70-year-old Pitino is signing a six-year contract with St. Johns, leaving his post as coach of the Iona Gaels.

Pitino, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, comes with 1127 games of college basketball coaching experience, with a career win-loss record of 834-293, which equates to a win percentage of 74%.

St. John’s will be the seventh program he’s led in his 35 years as a college basketball head coach. Yet, Pitino has even coached teams outside of the United States, including Puerto Rico, Panathinaikos, and Greece before returning stateside with Iona in 2020.

Now the next challenge for Pitino will be helping the Red Storm get back to tournament play, where they haven’t been since the 2018-19 season when Chris Mullin led St. John’s to a First Four appearance.

Related: Princeton’s cinderella story, other upsets define first weekend of NCAA Tournament

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