Rick Pitino (born September 18, 1952(1952-09-18)) is an American basketball coach. Since 2001, he has been the head coach at the University of Louisville. He has also served as head coach at Boston University, Providence College and the University of Kentucky, leading that program to the NCAA championship in 1996. He has coached on the professional level for the NBA's New York Knicks and Boston Celtics with mixed results.
Pitino holds the distinction of being the first coach in NCAA history to lead three different schools (Providence, Kentucky, and Louisville) to a Final Four. In addition, Pitino has achieved a measure of success as an author and a motivational speaker.
Pitino, a Sicilian American and native of New York City, grew up in the Village of Bayville and was captain of the St. Dominic High School basketball team in nearby Oyster Bay, Long Island. He enrolled at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1970. He was a standout guard for the Minutemen basketball team. His 329 career assists rank tenth all-time at UMass, as of the 2008-2009 season. He led the team in assists as a junior and senior. The 168 assists as a senior is the eighth-best single season total ever there. Pitino was a freshman at the same time future NBA legend Julius Erving spent his junior (and final) year at UMass, although the two never played on the same team because freshmen were ineligible to play varsity basketball at the time. Other teammates of Pitino's incude Al Skinner, who also went on to become a successful college coach, and Mike Flanagan (baseball), who went on to pitch in the major leagues and win the AL Cy Young Award in 1979. Pitino earned his degree from UMass in 1974.