Rick Pitino candidly shares his biggest regrets during his coaching career
College basketball coaching legend Rick Pitino has made several noteworthy career moves in his time as a basketball coach. But one of his biggest regrets may be a strategy decision in an all-time game in college basketball.
Pitino shared these thoughts with Dan Dakich on ESPNU Radio on Sirius XM, including some of his decisions to leave different jobs.
“(Dick) Vitale is a close friend of mine and every single conversation he says, ‘Do you realize you’d have more wins than Coach K today if you stayed at Kentucky,” Pitino said to Dakich. “Do I regret it? Yes I do in a way. It is a special place but I also regret leaving Providence College. I’ve said that many times. That was a two year Cinderella ride with Billy Donovan as my captain and I regret leaving there. You know, you look back. I’m sure as a basketball coach and athlete that there are so many things you regret.
“I regret not putting a guy on the ball with Christian Laettner, so many things in life would be different. You mentioned Coach Knight. Coach Knight called me after that and said ‘I don’t ever put a guy on the ball in a full court situation. I said ‘Bob, here’s my mistake at that game, it wasn’t putting a guy on the ball.’ I told (Deron) Feldhaus and (John) Pelphrey, I said ‘whatever you do, (don’t foul Laettner). If you see it, both guys freeze and instead of knocking the ball down….they froze and that was my mistake in that game so I regret that big time.”
Pitino, currently at Iona, is the first coach in NCAA history to win an NCAA Championship at two different schools. He led Louisville to the 2013 title and won the 1996 title at Kentucky. He also finished as runner-up in 1997.
Pitino is the first coach in NCAA history to guide three different schools to the NCAA Final Four.
— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) January 23, 2021