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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Mike McDaniel

Rick Pitino Says Contract Negotiations With Iona ‘Didn’t Work Out’

Iona basketball coach Rick Pitino was reportedly in negotiations with the school for a lifetime contract extension in February, according to basketball reporter Adam Zagoria of Zags Blog.

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.

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