Who will Tennessee select as their next head basketball coach?
That’s the question on everyone’s mind as we head into the Easter weekend and no one seems to have any inkling as to who that person will be.
Richard Pitino, the current head coach at Minnesota, is a guy that’s on the Vols’ shortlist of candidates, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
Tennessee has Minnesota coach Richard Pitino on its short list of top candidates, multiple sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) April 16, 2014
Pitino is instantly recognizable because of his name. He’s the son of legendary Louisville (and former Kentucky) head coach Rick Pitino.
But the younger Pitino (who is only 31 by the way) hasn’t got to where he is just because of his name.
No, this kid can actually coach.
Career coaching record
|FIU Panthers (Sun Belt Conference) |
|Minnesota Golden Gophers |
Pitino only has two years of head coaching experience, but he’s fielded a winning team in both of those seasons.
This past season he replaced Tubby Smith (who earlier in his career replaced Rick Pitino at Kentucky) and responded by leading his team to 25 wins and a NIT championship.
Minnesota was a team squarely on the bubble and was undoubtedly crushed when they found out they weren’t making the NCAA tournament. Pitino was able to keep his players focused and beat a SMU team that was robbed of a tournament bid for the NIT championship.
Pitino isn’t the flashiest guy in the world (something that is apparently very important to Tennessee fans), but he’s got plenty of youthful energy.
The Vols aren’t going to land a big named guy like Gregg Marshall or Shaka Smart. They’d be wise to go after a up-and-comer like Rick Pitino.
They may have their work cut out for them, however, if they plan on making a serious run at Pitino. Some media outlets have reported that he’s not interested in the UT job.
Our affiliate @KSTP in Minnesota is reporting that Richard Pitino is NOT interested in the UT position. They cite a good source.
— Jillian Mahen (@Jillian_Mahen) April 17, 2014
Of course we all know nothing is ever final in coaching searches.I believe Pitino is still in play for the Vols.