Not long after it came out that he could have chosen Michigan over Louisville, Rick Pitino has agreed to a five year extension with the Cardinals. This contract will now keep him on the sidelines until he is 70 years old. His base salary remains the same, $3.9 million per year, but some additional bonuses and incentive payments were added to his original contract. The deal includes incentives for being chosen The Associated Press national coach of the year ($100,000) and winning the Big East Conference regular-season title ($50,000).
This extension agreement happened quickly as only a day ago was it announced that the personnel committee of the university’s athletic association gave athletic director Tom Jurich permission to negotiate the deal, a formality that paved the way for the extension. Pitino has been coaching for 27 years and has a 629-234 record over that time with multiple teams in both the NCAA and NBA. Despite being “older” Jurich says, “He’s a young guy, I’ve said it many times, he might be 60 but he’s going on 35, maybe even younger than that. He’s got an incredible amount of energy, and he’s worked extremely hard. We just love the direction this program is going. I’d really like to see him continue on as long as he possibly can.”
Pitino led Louisville to a BIG EAST Championship and to the Final Four. This year, led by Payton Siva and Gorgui Dieng, the Cardinals have opened the preseason ranked number two by the Associated Press. Having success and incredible talent has surely rejuvenated Pitino as he heads down the homestretch of what will surely end as a Hall of Fame Career.