Rick Pitino Bio - GoCards.com | Official Website of University of Louisville Athletics


Rick Pitino
Rick  Pitino

Head Coach


Career Record:
722-254 in 30 seasons, entering 2015-16


Indiana, Louisville to play Football and Men’s Basketball Series

Teams will play a three-game, home, away and neutral series in both sports


Pitino to Receive NABC Metropolitan Award

Award for outstanding service to basketball presented on April 5 in Indianapolis


NCAA Tournament Postgame Quotes: Louisville vs. Michigan State

Louisville falls to Michigan State, 76-70


Louisville Outlasts NC State 75-65 to reach the Elite 8

Montrezl Harrell had 24 points to lead the Cardinals to the regional finals.


Louisville Returns to the Sweet Sixteen With 66-53 Victory Over Northern Iowa

The Cardinals reach the Sweet Sixteen for the fourth straight season.



Louisville Men's Basketball v Puerto Rico National Team



Louisville Men's Basketball v Michigan State | NCAA Elite 8


NCAA Tournament: Louisville vs Michigan State

Louisville takes on Michigan State in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament



Louisville Men's Basketball | NCAA Regional Final Media Day



Louisville Men's Basketball v NC State | Ncaa Sweet 16

When the University of Louisville went looking for its first new men's basketball coach in 30 years, it didn't just get the best coach available. The Cardinals got arguably the best person, period.

Rick Pitino, one of the most brilliant minds in coaching, began a new era in University of Louisville men's basketball when he was named head coach of the Cardinals on March 21, 2001. And as he successfully accomplished at his previous three collegiate coaching stops, it is clear over a decade later that there couldn't have been a finer choice to continue to lead Louisville to its place among the nation's elite teams.

The first coach in NCAA history to win a national championship at two different schools, Pitino's uptempo style, pressure defense, strong work ethic and family atmosphere have restored the Cardinals to national prominence where it is firmly seated.

In 30 seasons as a collegiate head coach at five different schools, Pitino has compiled a 722-254 record, a .740 winning percentage that ranks him 10th among active coaches. He has a 368-126 record in 14 seasons at UofL, the third winningest coach in Cardinal history. UofL is among the nation's top 10 programs in winning percentage since his arrival. His current contract ties him with UofL through the 2025-2026 season.

The first coach in NCAA history to take three different teams to the NCAA Final Four, Pitino was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2013, lofty recognition for a lifetime of impressive basketball achievement.

Pitino has a 722-254 collegiate coaching record in 30 seasons, the 10th-best winning percentage among active coaches.

The Cardinals enter the 2015-16 season with a 123 victories over the last four years -- the second-most by any school in the nation -- and UofL is the only school in the nation with 30 wins in each of the previous three years (2011-14).

His most recent Cardinals reached the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament appearance for the fifth time in the last eight years and played their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, finishing fourth among a league with five teams in the nation's top 25, including NCAA Champion Duke. He won his 700th game along the way.

In the 2013-14 season, Louisville won both the American Athletic Conference tournament championship and shared the regular season title while advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 31-6 record and a top five national ranking. Senior guard Russ Smith developed into a consensus All-America selection as the Cards won 30 games for the third straight season.

A year earlier, Pitino's Cardinals manufactured a thrilling March run that delighted UofL fans. After winning his 600th collegiate coaching victory in the Cards' opening game of the 2011-12 season, UofL embarked on a terrific season in which it won 30 games, claimed the BIG EAST Tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Final Four after ranking among the nation's top 20 most of the year.

That followed another season of success. Despite opening the season with no regular returning starters in 2010-11, the Cardinals tied for third in the nation's toughest conference and reached the title game of the BIG EAST Championship. Louisville beat seven Top 25 teams and rose to the national rankings themselves after not receiving a single vote in the preseason AP poll.

In 2009-10, Louisville reached 20 victories for the eighth straight year against a top-five rated schedule. Along the way, U of L tied for fifth in arguably the nation's toughest league, beat then top-ranked Syracuse in the regular season finale, and played in the Cards' 36th NCAA Tournament.

The Cardinals earned both the BIG EAST Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2008-09, won 31 games -- fifth most in school history -- and gained the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament before reaching the NCAA Elite Eight for the second straight year. UofL earned its first ever Associated Press No. 1 ranking in the final poll.

His Cardinals overcame early injuries to its front line in 2008-09 to win 27 games against a schedule rated as the fourthtoughest in the nation. An aggressive, multiple defensive attack helped UofL earn a second-place finish in the BIG EAST for the second consecutive year and advance to the Cards' second NCAA Elite Eight appearance in four years.

In 2007-08, Pitino's youthful squad also battled through injuries to win eight of its last ten games and rise among the nation's top 20 teams over the last four weeks. The Cards won 24 games, including a pair on the road over top 15 ranked teams, earned a second-place finish in the Big East Conference and were No. 16 in the final Associated Press ranking.

The Cardinals were No. 3 in the nation in the final 2004-05 ESPN/USA Today poll while posting a stellar 33-5 record, matching the most victories in UofL history. UofL won its first-ever Conference USA regular season title and also claimed the league tournament championship. Louisville reached its first NCAA Sweet 16 since 1997 as the No. 4 seed in the Albuquerque Regional before advancing to its first NCAA Final Four since 1986. Pitino, who made his fifth Final Four appearance, became the first coach ever to guide teams from three different schools to the Final Four.

The successes of the 2005 Final Four squad were built upon the efforts of his early teams at UofL. A year before that Final Four advancement, the Cardinals won 16 straight during one stretch and rose to as high as fourth in the national polls before a trio of key injuries disrupted the Cardinals' flight. UofL beat top-ranked Florida on Dec. 13, 2003, the first of two wins that season UofL achieved over No. 1 ranked foes.

In his second year at UofL in 2002-03, the Cardinals reached the No. 2 position in the Associated Press poll and spent time as the nation's top team in the Ratings Percentage Index and Sagarin Ratings. After a 1-1 start, the Cardinals reeled off an incredible 17 straight victories, one short of the school record and won its first C-USA Tournament title.

Pitino did not ease into his tenure at UofL. In his first year with the Cardinals in 2001-02, he guided an undersized, often outmanned squad to a 19-13 record, upsetting the nation's fourth-ranked team along the way to earning a post-season tournament appearance in the NIT, nearly reversing the Cardinals fortunes the season prior to his arrival (12-19 in 2000-01).

Even under great adversity, Pitino's teams have persevered. Louisville battled through destructive injuries and inexperience during the 2005-06 season to post a 21-13 record in its first year in the BIG EAST Conference, concluding the year in the NIT national semifinals.

A 2006 inductee to the New York City Hall of Fame, Pitino has the second-highest winning percentage in NCAA Tournament games among active coaches, winning 74.6 percent of his games in the post-season event with a 53-18 record in 20 tournament appearances.

Pitino is one of only two coaches (along with North Carolina's Roy Williams) in NCAA history to have led two different schools to at least three Final Fours each. He is one of only four coaches (also Jim Boeheim, Mike Krzyzewski and Dean Smith) ever to guide a school to the Final Four in four separate decades. Pitino is one of a select group of 11 coaches who have taken teams from four different schools to the NCAA Tournament. He is one of six coaches all-time who have reached the Final Four on at least seven occasions.

Twenty-eight former Pitino assistant coaches or players have become collegiate head coaches.

Pitino's impact goes beyond the teaching, motivation and X's and O's of his on-the-court skills. His incredible charisma, tireless work ethic, captivating speaking skills and widespread appeal not only mesmerize the Cardinal faithful, but have the college basketball world abuzz as well. His arrival in Louisville generated incredible attention beyond the borders of the state he and his family have come to love.

Pitino is known for getting his players to believe in themselves, instilling the desire to succeed and driving his players to overachieve. His former players speak of their coach's caring nature beyond their basketball skills. Twenty-eight of his former assistants or players have become collegiate head coaches.

For three and a half years, Pitino served as president and head coach of the NBA's Boston Celtics. With the Celtics, he took over a team that had posted a franchise worst 15-67 record before his arrival. He quickly made an impact, improving the Celtics' victory total by 21 games in his first season. He resigned his position with the storied franchise on Jan. 8, 2001 after compiling a 102-146 record there.

He guided Kentucky to three NCAA Final Four appearances in his last five years at Kentucky, winning the 1996 NCAA Championship and reaching the national title game in 1997. In eight seasons with the Wildcats, he amassed a 219-50 record (.814) while winning two league crowns and an impressive 17-1 record in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

While at Kentucky, Pitino coached three Wildcats who earned All-America honors and eight players who were drafted by the NBA, including six in the first round (three lottery picks).

Pitino is the first coach to take 3 different schools to the Final Four and first to win a title at 2 different schools.

Pitino, 63, got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Hawai'i in 1974 and served as a full-time assistant there in 1975-76 when he was the head coach for the last six games of the season (2-4) when the head coach was relieved of his duties. He served two seasons as an assistant at Syracuse under Jim Boeheim from 1976-78.

Pitino was only 25 years old when he accepted his first head coaching job at Boston University in 1978. He produced a 91-51 record in five years there, departing as the most successful coach in BU history. In his final season there, he guided the Terriers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 24 years. He was twice named New England Coach of the Year (1979, 1983).

Pitino left Boston U. to become an assistant coach for the New York Knicks from 1983-85, where he worked with head coach Hubie Brown. It was a team he would return to lead as its head coach in two seasons.

He was head coach at Providence College for two seasons (1985-87), producing a 42-23 record there. He guided the Friars to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1986 and an improbable trip to the NCAA Final Four in 1987, winning the regional title in Freedom Hall.

Before his stint at Kentucky, Pitino served as head coach of the New York Knicks for two seasons. In his initial year there in 1987-88, the Knicks improved by 14 victories and made the NBA Playoffs for the first time in four seasons. The Knicks won 52 games in 1988-89 and swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

Aside from his hoops prowess, Pitino has achieved success off the court as well in such realms as broadcasting, publishing, motivational speaking and horse racing. He is an accomplished author, producing such books as the best sellers "Success Is A Choice" and "Lead to Succeed," as well as his latest offering "The One-Day Contract."

He earned his degree in 1974 at Massachusetts, where he was a standout guard for the Minutemen's basketball team. His 329 career assists rank eighth all-time at UMass and his 168 assists as a senior is the sixth-best single season total ever there. Pitino was a freshman during NBA legend Julius Erving's senior year.

Born Sept. 18, 1952, Pitino is a native of New York City where he was a standout guard for Dominic High School in Oyster Bay, Long Island. There, he captained his team and established several school scoring marks.

Pitino and his wife Joanne have five children -- Michael, Christopher, Richard, Ryan and Jacqueline -- and six grandchildren -- Anna, Audrey, Alex (Michael and wife Bethany's children), Andrew, James (Christopher and wife Brucie's children), and Ava (Richard and wife Jill's child).

Rick Pitino's Collegiate Coaching Record

Year School Overall Home Away/Neutral Conf. Post-season
1975-76 Hawai'i 2-4 2-2 0-2 --
1978-79 Boston Univ. 17-9 12-4 5-5 --
1979-80 Boston Univ. 21-9 13-2 8-7 -- NIT
1980-81 Boston Univ. 13-14 8-6 5-8 --
1981-82 Boston Univ. 19-9 13-4 6-5 6-2
1982-83 Boston Univ. 21-10 11-3 10-7 8-2 NCAA
1985-86 Providence 17-14 12-6 5-8 7-9 NIT
1986-87 Providence 25-9 12-2 13-7 10-6 NCAA Final Four
1989-90 Kentucky 14-14 13-2 1-12 10-8
1990-91 Kentucky 22-6 13-0 9-6 14-4
1991-92 Kentucky 29-7 15-2 14-5 12-4 NCAA Final 8
1992-93 Kentucky 30-4 16-0 14-4 13-3 NCAA Final Four
1993-94 Kentucky 27-7 13-1 14-6 12-4 NCAA
1994-95 Kentucky 28-5 12-1 16-4 14-2 NCAA Final 8
1995-96 Kentucky 34-2 13-0 21-2 16-0 NCAA Champion
1996-97 Kentucky 35-5 12-1 23-4 13-3 NCAA Final Four
2001-02 Louisville 19-13 16-3 3-10 8-8 NIT
2002-03 Louisville 25-7 16-2 9-5 11-5 NCAA
2003-04 Louisville 20-10 13-2 7-8 9-7 NCAA
2004-05 Louisville 33-5 15-2 18-3 14-2 NCAA Final Four
2005-06 Louisville 21-13 19-3 1-8 6-10 NIT
2006-07 Louisville 24-10 16-4 8-6 12-4 NCAA
2007-08 Louisville 27-9 15-2 12-7 14-4 NCAA Elite Eight
2008-09 Louisville 31-6 16-2 15-4 16-2 NCAA Elite Eight
2009-10 Louisville 20-13 15-4 5-9 11-7 NCAA
2010-11 Louisville 25-10 19-2 6-8 12-6 NCAA
2011-12 Louisville 30-10 16-4 14-6 10-8 NCAA Final Four
2012-13 Louisville 35-5 15-1 20-4 14-4 NCAA Champion
2013-14 Louisville 31-6 16-2 15-4 15-3 NCAA Sweet 16
2014-15 Louisville 27-9 15-4 12-5 12-6 NCAA Elite Eight
Totals 30 seasons 722-254 413-73 309-181 299-123
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