Two notable NCAA men’s basketball coaches have found new homes in the Big East. It was announced on Monday that Rick Pitino would be joining St. John’s, and that Ed Cooley has accepted a job with Georgetown.
It is quite the shakeup in the Big East. The Cooley move began when Georgetown and head coach Patrick Ewing parted ways last week, opening the vacancy. The program has long been trying to get themselves back to prominence, as they once were being in once of the most basketball-rich cities in the country.
Big East Shake-Up: Pitino and Cooley Find New Head Coaching Jobs
Ewing failed to do so, but they are hoping that Cooley is the man for the job. Georgetown has been going up against Cooley’s Providence Friars for the last 12 seasons, where he was wildly successful given the school’s smaller stature. They qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 7 of his 12 seasons (and would have in 2020), and finished with an overall record of 242-153 during his tenure.
Around the same time that the Cooley news broke, it was announced that Pitino had landed the gig that he was rumored to want and to be the favorite for.
St. John’s had had similar issues with restoring the prestige that once surrounded the program, and they’ll look to the local figure to head the latest efforts.
Pitino Inks Major Deal With St. John’s
They signed Rick Pitino to a 6-year deal on Monday, a monumental day for both sides. Pitino has been working his way back to a high-level program after his pay-for-play scandal, even taking a job overseas coaching in the EuroLeague at one point.
— ESPN (@espn) March 20, 2023
His last stop was at Iona, where he took the Gaels to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. He will simply move across town, given that the two campuses are within a 20-mile drive of one another.
Both hirings make for quite the shake up in the Big East Conference. Providence was the team that finished the best of the three, and they’ll be searching for a new head coach. Georgetown finished dead last, but that distinction should be gone with Cooley’s hiring.
There are still two teams from the conference alive in the current tournament, as both Xavier and Creighton have advanced to the Sweet 16.
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