Pitino Nixes Rhode Island Coach Job


Monday, February 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (AP) — Rick Pitino is not interested in coaching Rhode Island.

University president Robert Carothers said Pitino had been contacted by the school, but on Monday ``expressed his desire not to be further considered for this position.''

Pitino, who resigned last month as coach and president of the Boston Celtics, had been on a list of 50 potential candidates for the Rhode Island job.

Rick Avare, Pitino's agent, did not return calls to his home and office.

The Rams are looking to replace Jerry DeGregorio, who resigned last Monday after posting the worst two-year record in school history.

Athletic director Ron Petro presented the list of coaching candidates to the five-member search committee that met Monday.

The Providence Journal reported the candidates may be Connecticut assistant Dave Leitao, Creighton coach Dana Altman, Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, Hofstra coach Jay Wright, Maine coach John Giannini, UNLV coach Max Good and Rhode Island assistant George Blaney.

The Journal said conversations with Pitino started before DeGregorio announced he would resign. Pitino has met with the president at UNLV about the coaching position there.

Pitino coached Providence from 1985-87, leading the Friars to the NCAA semifinals in his last year. He also coached Kentucky to the 1996 title.

DeGregorio checked himself into the hospital on Friday and was treated for exhaustion. He has missed the team's last two games, but is to coach the team the rest of the season.