Rick Pitino will likely end his coaching career in Louisville. The personnel committee of the University of Louisville athletic association today authorized U of L Athletic Director Tom Jurich to extend Pitino’s contract through June 30, 2022. Just last December, Pitino said he didn’t plan to coach beyond June 2017, the term of his current contract.
Pitino is fresh off leading Louisville to the NCAA Final Four. In 27 seasons, Pitino has compiled a 629-234 record. He boasts the 11th-best winning percentage (.729) among active coaches. He has a 274-106 record in 11 seasons at Louisville and is the school’s third winningest coach. Under Pitino’s guidance, Louisville is among the nation’s top 15 programs in winning percentage over the last decade.
Pitino won his 600th game as a collegiate head coach in the 2011-12 season-opener. Louisville won 30 games last season, claiming the Big East Tournament championship. Under Pitino’s direction last season, Louisville reached its ninth Final Four. In all, Pitino has coached in six Final Fours. He is only one of seven coaches to do so.
Is extending Pitino’s contract a good move for the Louisville Cardinals? Absolutely. Will Kentucky fans like seeing Pitino on the sidelines in Louisville for a longer period of time? No, many won’t. Heading into his 12th season in Louisville, Pitino has taken the Cardinals to Elite Eights in four of the last eight years.
Pitino will guide the Cardinals into a season-opener versus Manhattan on Nov. 11. Following a trio of Red-White Scrimmages, Louisville will host Pikeville and Bellarmine in separate exhibition games. Louisville is one of the leading contenders for the 2012-13 national title.