In an activity involving a team, it is important to have a leader who leads the team, who serves as a compass to help the team achieve its goals. In the corporate world, they are called managers and in sports, they are called trainers. Even though unlike their colleagues in companies, they do not serve in the highest-paid or even the most glamorous position in this process, they are still one of the most important elements for the success of a team. There is a common statement in sports: “If a team does well, it is the efforts of the players. If they fail, it is the coach’s fault. Despite this huge and unbalanced responsibility, some have still offered to engage themselves as the guiding light that leads teams to glory. Rick Pitino is one of those men.
Who Is Rick Pitino?
Rick Pitino is a highly decorated former basketball coach. Born in New York on September 18, 1952, Pitino was a coach for over 40 years before being fired in 2017. He began his life with a keen interest in basketball. Although he grew up in Bayville, he attended high school at Oyster Bay, Long Island, where he was captain of the St. Dominic High School basketball team.
After graduating from St. Dominic’s and a high school career that impressed college scouts, he was offered a basketball scholarship at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1970. By the time he finished his career at UMass, he had collected over 329 assists and placed him on the 10th All-Time Assist table.
Before coaching NBA players and answering journalists’ questions in the spotlight, he was a teammate of a future NBA legend, Julius Erving, at UMass. Pitino graduated in 1974.
No one can really say whether it was out of a passion for coaching or the realization that he would not make it at the highest level of basketball in the NBA, Pitino decided to become an assistant coach after graduating. He got his first coaching job at the University of Hawaii in the same year he graduated college in 1974 and got his chance through Jim Boeheim.
During his time in Hawaii, and perhaps a sign of what was to come in Pitino’s career, he was involved in an NCAA investigation in 1977 and put on probation. During his time in Hawaii, he served as an assistant coach and interim head coach.
After Hawaii, he received his first official job as a head coach at Boston University. His college basketball legend started in Boston and led the team to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 24 years after winning only 17 games.
A rising star like him doesn’t usually stay on a team for very long, and shortly after his successes in Boston, he was recruited by Providence College after a brief stint as an assistant coach in the NBA for the New York Knicks. His turn in the Providence team culminated in a final four for a team that had set an 11-20 record just two years earlier.
After another attempt as an assistant in the NBA, Pitino returned to college basketball in Kentucky. He won his first NCAA tournament in Kentucky in 1996. Although he failed to repeat this feat the following season, he took the team to the finals, where they lost in overtime.
Pitino’s time solidified his career in many ways. During his time at the top of the college team at the university, he achieved several career honors. He made the team a force to be reckoned with and won the championship in 2013.
As coaches, the players are not the only people you are entrusted with developing. Pitino has played a significant role in the coaching careers of several other coaches including Billy Donovan, Reggie Theus, Mick Cronin, and several others. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Rick Pitino’s Wife, Son
Rick is married to his wife Joanne Minardi. The couple married in 1976 and have six children. However, Rick and his wife Joanne suffered the tragedy of losing a child, their son Daniel, to heart failure in 1987. Their five living children are Michael, Ryan, Jacqueline, Christopher, and Richard, who is currently a trainer in Minnesota like his father.
Net Worth and Salary
As a superstar college-level coach and with his long NBA experience, Rick is one of the highest-paid coaches in football. His achievements and media profile make him a gold mine for any team that has him at the top of their team. He currently has net assets of $45 million and had an average salary of $5 million per year before his release from Louisville.
Scandal and Affair, Why was He Fired?
Rick Pitino has been the subject of scandal from the beginning of his career. His series of scandals includes an extortion case in 2009 against Karen Sypher. Karen had accused Pitino of rape, but after an investigation by the FBI, Karen was sentenced to prison for extortion and lying to the FBI. Pitino was acquitted of all rape charges, although he admitted to having had sex with her.
His latest scandal began in 2015 in a book written by a former companion who claimed that Pitino’s assistant had paid sex workers for four years to have sex with Louisville gamblers. Although it began as an easy story, it led to the dismissal of Pitino, who continued to be involved in a scandal involving the payment of players that was under investigation by the Department of Justice.