JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) — Rick Pitino is set to become the new men’s basketball coach at St. John’s, according to a person familiar with the agreement.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the school had not yet made the announcement. Pitino is expected to be formally introduced by St. John’s during a news conference Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
The move puts the Hall of Fame coach back in the Big East Conference, looking to boost a storied St. John’s program that’s been mired in mediocrity for much of this century.
Following a successful run at nearby mid-major Iona, the 70-year-old Pitino was plucked away to replace Mike Anderson, fired March 10 after four seasons in charge of the Red Storm without making the NCAA Tournament.
Reports quickly surfaced that indicated St. John’s planned to target Pitino, who grew up on Long Island not far from the school’s Queens campus in New York City.
Pitino has been to seven Final Fours and won a pair of NCAA championships, one each at Kentucky (1996) and Louisville (2013).
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