Pitino plans to quit after 2016-17
Louisville head coach says he won’t coach past end of contract
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Rick Pitino said Tuesday that he won’t coach past the 2016-2017 season when his current contract ends at Louisville.
“When you’re 59, you’re realistic that you don’t have a whole lot of years left,” Pitino said at a news conference before the No. 4 Cardinals play Georgetown on Wednesday. “My contract’s going to run out in 2017. I’m not coaching any more after that.”
The former Providence and Kentucky coach has guided the Cardinals to a 12-0 record so far this season.
Louisville’s Athletic Association granted Pitino, the only men’s coach to lead three different programs to the Final Four, a four-year contract extension in August. He’ll make $3 million in base salary until the end of the 2013 season, followed by $3.9 million a year.
Pitino didn’t use the word ‘retire,’ but has said in the past that Louisville would be his last coaching stop. He’s 253-96 in his 11th season at Louisville, which reached the Final Four in 2005.
The Cardinals will host the Hoyas in their Big East Conference opener before traveling to face rival and No. 3 Kentucky on Saturday.
Pitino said Louisville hasn’t started preparing for Kentucky.
“One thing I’ve learned to do with my age, I really don’t look ahead,” said Pitino, who went 219-50 in eight seasons at Kentucky and won the 1996 national championship. “For years, I’ve been preaching the precious present and having to always subscribe to it.”
Senior guard Chris Smith echoed his coach.
“We haven’t talked about Kentucky one time yet, and we’re going to keep it like that until we come out with a W tomorrow,” he said.