Since being fired by Louisville in October, Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino has maintained that he knew nothing of the pay-for-play scandal that cost him his job and has sought an opportunity to get back into the profession.
Now it appears that Pitino has his sights set on the recently open Siena job.
Former Siena coach Jimmy Patsos resigned on Friday after five years and Pitino seems to think he’d be a good fit for the job, according to a report from Mark Singelais of the Times Union in Albany, N.Y.
Pitino has since denied the reports, according the Courier-Journal’s Jeff Greer and Jake Lourim.
Pitino’s friend and horse racing partner Roddy Valente explained Pitino’s interest in the job.
“He loves to coach,’’ Valente added. “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 is located in Loudonville, N.Y., on the eastern edge of the state roughly 30 miles from Saratoga Race Course, where Pitino has been a frequent visitor. Of course, Valente thinks that it would be a perfect situation.
“I think he’d be great,” he said. “He is probably the best unemployed coach in America. To have a man of his caliber come to Siena after they’ve been sputtering, it’d be the best fit in the world. He’s a great teacher. I know he’s getting a bad rap for a lot of things, but he is a gentleman. He is a tremendous teacher.”