Rick Pitino Returning To Power 5 Conference After Successful Run With Iona

Rick Pitino coaching Iona

Getty Image / C Morgan Engel

It took 6 years, but it looks like Rick Pitino is finally heading back to a Power 5 school.

Pitino had been linked with a couple of major jobs over the past week as his Iona Gaels earned themselves a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a dominant run through the MAAC tournament.

Unfortunately their season came to an end on Friday when they lost to 4-seed UCONN, giving Pitino time to begin contemplating his future.

Now it looks like he’ll be seeing a lot more of UCONN in the coming years as he is reportedly heading to the Big East.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Pete Thamel, Pitino has agreed to a six-year deal with St John’s to become their next head coach.

St John’s needed something big to get their program over the hump. They hadn’t made an NCAA Tournament appearance since losing to Arizona State in the First Four back in 2019.

Since then, they’ve finished below .500 in Big East play in 3 of 4 seasons and this year they finished in 8th in the conference standings.

Pitino will have plenty of Big East experience to draw from as he tries to make St John’s the 6th school he’s taken to the NCAA Tournament.

Over the course of 8 seasons in the conference with Louisville, he won 2 regular season titles, 3 Big East Tournament titles, and a national title.

With a .744 winning percentage, a pair of regular season titles, and a pair of conference tournament titles over 3 years at Iona, it’s clear that Pitino is still an elite college basketball coach.

Now he’ll take over at St John’s with the hopes of turning them back into the NCAA Tournament regular that they used to be.