Louisville head coach and Hall of Famer Rick Pitino has stepped down from his role as coach of the Puerto Rican men’s national team after a busy summer that saw him splitting his time between the national team and the Cardinals. In fact, both teams got together for a series of exhibition games.
But now that Puerto Rico failed to earn an automatic Olympic bid in the FIBA Americas games (though the team will get another shot in next year’s qualifying tournament), Pitino announced on local Louisville radio show “Ramsey and Rutherford” that he would be stepping down from his duties in that role.
“I’m done tonight,” Pitino said on Wednesday’s edition of “Ramsey & Rutherford” on 93.9 The Ville. “I’ve had three Puerto Rican coaches with me and I hope I’ve done right by them where they can take over. I haven’t seen my family in three months, and that’s quite a sacrifice.”
It’s hard to find fault with Pitino’s reasoning, as working practically nonstop from the start of college basketball season up through the summer is sure to be exhausting. Now, he can put his entire focus on getting the Cardinals back on the path to the Final Four (after bringing the team to the Elite Eight last season) and winning another championship.
In fourteen seasons with Louisville, Pitino is 368-126 and has won six conference titles to go with three trips to the Final Four and a national championship, won in 2013. With another strong team heading into the 2015-16 season, look for Louisville to continue contending for a championship.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports