First of all I am a life long Louisville Cardinal basketball fan. I am not a big fan of Rick Pitino. I am right there cheering for the Cardinals each and every game. However, I believe Rick Pitino has definitely worn out his welcome at Louisville. Pitino is not a great bench coach, he is not a great game manager and he has a definite habit of leaning on the wrong players to be leaders on his teams. Yet the athletic Director just gave Pitino a new ten year contract, despite the fact that he is 62 years old.
He is not a great recruiter, nor is he a superior evaluator of talent. This is my biggest problem with Pitino. He is terrible at recruiting the state of Kentucky, preferring to recruit elsewhere. This has been his strategy since he took over as Head Basketball coach at Louisville.
Make no mistake, Pitino is likeable and has achieved nearly all there’s is to achieve, in that respect it is a love hate relationship. I know Pitino has a great relationship with Louisville’s Athletic Director and his charisma level is off the charts. He is funny and can talk his way out of any situation, typical of many New Yorkers. At Louisville Pitino is a big fish in a small pond. And believe me, this characteristic has served him well at Louisville. Pitino has had many off the court incidents, however that is not the focus of this article. The fact is Rick Pitino has a great deal at Louisville and apparently everyone is pleased. Pitino is a Hall of Fame coach.
The trouble with Pitino is that he is not a great recruiter. He settles for mediocre players rather than put in the hard work to recruit the best. I believe he does notenjoy recruiting. In this day and time if you do not enjoy recruiting how can you possibly succeed? Yet Pitino just received a lucrative contract extension. Apparently the Athletic Director is pleased with his performance. One national championship in 12 years is quite enough for Rick Pitino to keep his job.
For the record Pitino has won two national championship. One at Kentucky and one at Louisville. He has coached at seven final fours.