As the basketball season is fast approaching, Pitino gave an update on the contract extension negotiations with Iona.
“Well, I guess they didn’t want me to go into 85 years of age,” Pitino joked with reporters on Thursday per Zags Blog. “We didn’t necessarily talk about a lifetime contract. We talked about a new contract, and it didn’t work out for a variety of reasons. I’m not upset, and nobody’s upset about it. It just didn’t work out. There was a changing of the guard with the Board of Trustees and a few other things that didn’t work out with the contract, so it’s no hard feelings and we just try to have a great team this year.”
The 70-year-old Pitino has three years left on a current contract that reportedly pays him in the “high six-figure range” with no buyout. Pitino says he has no intention of retiring anytime soon, as long as he remains in good health.
“I want to coach for a long time, as long as my health stays the same,” he said.
“I said I would love to finish my career at Iona, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. You just never know about the future. My intent is I love where I’m living, I love the school, I love my players even more than where I’m living and how much I love the school. You just never know.”
Iona is the preseason favorite to win the MAAC in 2022-23 and returns a veteran-laden roster featuring forward Nelly Junior Joseph and guard Walter Clayton Jr.
As long as Pitino is the coach at Iona, the Gaels will be a strong team to contend with in the MAAC. Just how long he resides in his current post remains to be seen.