Rick Pitino, who led Iona to the NCAA tournament this season, has reportedly agreed to become the head coach at St. John’s University. Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Rick Pitino is back in the Big East Conference.

St. John’s hired the Hall of Fame coach Monday to boost a storied program that’s been mired in mediocrity for much of this century.

The school announced the move on Twitter, and Pitino is expected to be formally introduced during a news conference Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.

Following a successful run at nearby mid-major Iona, the 70-year-old Pitino was plucked away to replace Mike Anderson, fired March 10 after four seasons in charge of the Red Storm without making the NCAA Tournament.

Reports quickly surfaced that indicated St. John’s planned to target Pitino, who grew up on Long Island not far from the school’s Queens campus in New York City.

Pitino has been to seven Final Fours and won a pair of NCAA championships, one each at Kentucky (1996) and Louisville (2013).


He was dismissed at Louisville in 2017 after an FBI investigation into college basketball corruption led to allegations of NCAA violations. It was the third scandal, professional and personal, in an eight-year period with the Cardinals — but Pitino was eventually exonerated in the FBI-related case.

Pitino has been coaching college basketball so long that he was on the opposing bench with Big East rival Providence when St. John’s was a national power in the mid-1980s under Lou Carnesecca.

Now, he’s tasked with invigorating a Red Storm squad that hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game — or even reached the Big East semifinals — since 2000. The school has made only three NCAA appearances over the past two decades, the most recent coming in 2019 under Chris Mullin.

During that time, through several conference reconfigurations, St. John’s has fallen behind Big East foes with similar profiles such as Villanova, Providence and Seton Hall.

The Red Storm went 18-15 during a turbulent 2022-23 season, including 7-13 in Big East play to finish eighth in the conference standings. They blew a 14-point lead against sixth-ranked and top-seeded Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals, ending the season with a 72-70 loss in overtime that left Anderson with a 68-56 record at St. John’s.

Pitino has a .740 winning percentage in 34 full seasons as a college basketball coach. He has guided five schools to the NCAA Tournament, including Boston University (1983) and Iona (2021, 2023).


GEORGETOWN: Ed Cooley is the new men’s basketball coach at Georgetown, hired away from Big East rival Providence in the hopes of rebuilding a once-proud program that dropped to new lows under former star player Patrick Ewing.

Georgetown announced the move on Monday, after Providence issued a news release saying that Cooley had resigned.

“I plan on hitting the ground running, getting to work on the court and cultivating relationships in and around the District,” Cooley said in a statement released by his new employer. “Accepting this opportunity with Georgetown is not a decision I took lightly.”

He leaves the Friars with a 242-153 record after 12 years and seven March Madness appearances with a total of three wins in the tournament; the highlight was a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2022. His team went 21-12 this season, closing with four consecutive losses, including in the first round of the Big East Tournament against Connecticut and the first round of the NCAA Tournament against Kentucky.


NEBRASKA: The Cornhuskers opened spring practice with running back Anthony Grant suspended indefinitely to work on academics and other issues, first-year coach Matt Rhule announced.


Grant led the team in rushing with 915 yards and six touchdowns last season. He also caught 18 passes for 104 yards.

“Working on academics and general things. Nothing bad other than just our standards as a program,” Rhule said. “That will be day by day. Good kid. Just have to get him going in the right direction.”

Rhule said kick returner and reserve receiver Tommi Hill also is suspended. He did not specify a reason.


WIS.-STEVENS POINT 5, COLBY 2: Quin Henwood hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and the Pointers (6-2) beat the Mules (5-3) in Auburndale, Florida.

Cole Palmeri hit an RBI single in the first and a solo homer in the ninth to account for Colby’s runs.


The Mules had few chances for runs through much of the game. Drew Miller was hit by pitch in the second, but was left at first. Clint Flippo walked in the third, but was thrown out trying to steal second. The Mules were sent down in order from the fourth through the seventh innings, before stranding two runners in the eighth.


BATES 4, WIS.-PLATTEVILLE 3: The Bobcats (2-1) built a 4-1 lead and went on to edge the Pioneers (5-3) in Winter Haven, Florida.

Kennedy Jones and Madison Hollis each drove in a run on ground outs, Ella Maher hit an RBI double and Amanda Taylor singled home Grace Householter, who had two hits, for Bobcats.

Delaney Rankin allowed six hits and no walks with two strikeouts in six innings for her first win. Katherine Merisotis pitched the seventh for her first save.

BATES 9, CARLETON 5: Cassidy Musco, Grace Householter and Katherine Merisotis each had two RBI as the Bobcats (3-1) defeated the Knights (6-4) in Winter Haven, Florida.


Bates scored five runs in the first inning on RBI singles by Maggie Hillwig and Householter, a double by Kennedy Jones, a fielder’s choice by Merisotis and an error.

The Bobcats added three more in the third on singles by Musco and Householter and another fielder’s choice by Merisotis for an 8-0 lead.

BOWDOIN 11, MANCHESTER 6: Kiera Dent had three hits with four RBI as the Polar Bears (6-5) handled the Spartans (3-3) in Clermont, Florida.

Dent hit a two-run single in the third inning, and singled home two more in the sixth when Bowdoin scored four runs, two on errors, for an 11-6 lead.

Lilly Armstrong had three hits, including a two-run single in the first, while Shea Sullivan hit a two-run single in the fourth and finished with two hits.

WIS.-WHITEWATER 6, BOWDOIN 5: The Polar Bears (6-5) went ahead 5-3 with a five-run third inning before the Warhawks (4-0) rallied for three in the fourth for the win in Clermont, Florida.

Angelina Mayers hit a three-run homer, Lilly Armstrong hit an RBI double and Sydney Lang added an RBI single in the third for Bowdoin.

In the fourth, the Warhawks made it 5-4 on a fielder’s choice and Meghan Dunning followed with a two-run double for a 6-5 lead.

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