Sidelines with John Clay

Rick Pitino denies it, but friend says he’s interested in Siena job

Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association has officially fired coach Rick Pitino, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe.
Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino reacts to a question during a press conference in Louisville, Ky. Louisville's Athletic Association has officially fired coach Rick Pitino, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, nearly three weeks after the school acknowledged that its men's basketball program is being investigated as part of a federal corruption probe. Associated Press

Rick Pitino says no, but his good friend says yes.

Fired by Louisville before this past season after allegations of being involved in the FBI investigation into college basketball, Pitino denied a report that he is interested in the head coaching opening at Siena. Pitino texted a Courier-Journal reporter “nope” when asked about the report.

His friend Roddy Valentine, who is a partner with Pitino in Kentucky Oaks contender Coach Rocks, told the Times Union of Albany, N.Y., that the former Kentucky coach would love to sit down and talk with Siena officials about the opening.

“He loves to coach,’’ Valentine said. “He said Siena would be a good fit. He loves the area. He’s turned down two jobs because of where they were located. He loves the Capital Region.”

Siena coach Jimmy Patsos recently resigned after allegations of verbal abuse were made by a team manager. The Saints went 8-24 this past season.

The NCAA forced Louisville to vacate its 2013 national championship under Pitino because of violations committed during the scandal over improper entertainment provided to recruits. Pitino claims he knew nothing of the violations. He also denies any involvement in alleged violations uncovered by the FBI.

Last month, Pitino was subject of a Washington Post profile in which the coach said he wants back in the game and denied that he paid players while at Louisville.

“I miss it terribly,” Pitino said. “I don’t know how to explain it in words. … There’s just this emptiness.”

Though Coach Rocks is in Louisville for the Kentucky Oaks on May 4, Pitino has said he will not attend.

“I’m not going to go to Kentucky for the Oaks, but my partners are,” Pitino told The Blood-Horse. “But I feel absolutely awesome.

“I will not (go to Churchill Downs),” he added, “unless (chairman) David Grissom and the pizza guy, Papa John (Schnatter), retire from the (university’s) board of trustees. Then, I’ll be there.”

Rick Pitino coaching record

Season

School

Record

SEC

Post-season

1979-80

Boston U

21-9

19-7

NIT Second Round

1980-81

Boston U

13-14

13-13

1981-82

Boston U

19-9

6-2

1982-83

Boston U

21-10

8-2

1985-86

Providence

17-14

7-9

NIT Semifinals

1986-87

Providence

25-9

10-6

NCAA Final Four

1989-90

Kentucky

14-14

10-8

Ineligible

1990-91

Kentucky

22-6

14-4

Ineligible

1991-92

Kentucky

29-7

12-4

NCAA Elite Eight

1992-93

Kentucky

30-4

13-3

NCAA Final Four

1993-94

Kentucky

27-7

12-4

NCAA Second Round

1994-95

Kentucky

28-5

14-2

NCAA Elite Eight

1995-96

Kentucky

34-2

16-0

NCAA Champions

1996-97

Kentucky

35-5

13-3

NCAA Runner-Up

2001-02

Louisville

19-13

8-8

NIT Second Round

2002-03

Louisville

25-7

11-5

NCAA Second Round

2003-04

Louisville

20-10

9-7

NCAA First Round

2004-05

Louisville

33-5

14-2

NCAA Final Four

2005-06

Louisville

21-13

6-10

NIT Semifinals

2006-07

Louisville

24-10

12-4

NCAA Second Round

2007-08

Louisville

27-9

14-4

NCAA Elite Eight

2008-09

Louisville

31-6

16-2

NCAA Elite Eight

2009-10

Louisville

20-13

11-7

NCAA First Round

2010-11

Louisville

25-10

12-6

NCAA First Round

2011-12

Louisville

30-10

10-8

NCAA Final Four

2012-13

Louisville

35-5

14-4

NCAA Champions

2013-14

Louisville

31-6

15-3

NCAA Sweet 16

2014-15

Louisville

27-9

12-6

NCAA Elite Eight

2015-16

Louisville

23-6

12-4

Ineligible

2016-17

Louisville

25-9

12-6

NCAA Second Round

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