Apr 16, 2012FIU To Hire Pitino’s Son As Head Coach
Nine days after firing Isiah Thomas as head coach, FIU’s men’s basketball program now turns to another famous name and first-time college basketball head coach.
Sources close to the program confirmed a Saturday night report from allkyhoops.com that Richard Pitino, 29-year-old son of national championship-winning coach Rick Pitino, will be the next man to take the task of building wins and support at FIU, where both usually have been in short supply.
Richard Pitino has been an assistant under his father at Louisville for three of the past five seasons. From 2009 to 2011, he was an assistant under University of Florida coach Billy Donovan, who played for Rick Pitino on Providence’s 1987 Final Four team and got his start in coaching under Pitino the father.
Richard Pitino also has been an assistant at Duquesne and Northeastern. He didn’t play for Providence, from which he graduated in 2005, but spent two seasons as the team’s manager.
While with Florida, Pitino recruited in the state, which should help a traditional FIU trouble spot.
Pitino’s hiring could mean a return to South Florida for Mark Lieberman, Louisville’s director of basketball operations. Lieberman, an FIU graduate, coached Miami Monsignor Pace High to five state titles in 13 years.
FIU won eight games in 2011-12 and 26 in Thomas’ three seasons with the program.
Several players off last season’s team plan to transfer and two 2013 recruits from Boca Raton Grandview Prep, 6-9 forward Windale Glinton and point guard Ivan Canete, withdrew their oral commitment after Thomas’ dismissal.