When was the last time Rick Pitino won a national championship?

Rick Pitino is one of the best coaches in college basketball history. When is the last time he won a national championship?

Creighton v St. John's
Creighton v St. John's / Porter Binks/GettyImages
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The college basketball world has seen a slew of big names head for the exits in recent years. While Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim and Jay Wright have opted for retirement, Hall of Famer Rick Pitino is still roaming the sidelines in New York as the head coach of St. John's.

There is no one who can question the credentials of Pitino, who has led four teams to the NCAA Tournament and is seeking to make the Red Storm his fifth. While a tournament bid will be nice, Pitino is looking to add to his legacy and make another deep March run with St. John's.

Last time Rick Pitino won a national championship

This is a complicated question to answer for Pitino, who technically won the 2013 national championship with Louisville. But that title was later vacated due to serious rules violations that occurred under his watch. Prior to that title, Pitino last cut down the nets in 1996, when he was the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.

Rick Pitino Coaching History, Records

After starting his career as an assistant with Hawaii and Syracuse, Pitino got his first head coaching job in 1978 with Boston University. After going 91-51 in five years with the Terriers, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 1983, Pitino departed for an assistant coaching job with the New York Knicks.

Pitino returned to the college ranks in 1985, when he took over at Providence. After a two-year stint that saw him go 42-23 and the Friars reach the Final Four in 1987, Pitino went back to the Knicks to serve as their head coach.

The college ranks came calling again for Pitino in 1989, when he took over as Kentucky's head coach when the program was recovering from a major scandal that left the program ineligible for the NCAA Tournament in his first two years. Things turned around quickly for Pitino at Kentucky as he went 219-50 in eight years, reaching six NCAA Tournaments, three Final Fours and winning a National Championship.

Following his run at Kentucky, Pitino returned to the NBA in a failed attempt to turn around the Boston Celtics. Seeking a return to glory, Louisville hired Pitino as its head coach in 2001 and he spent the next 16 years there, going 293-140 before being forced out after the scandal that led the Cardinals to vacate their title and 123 wins from 2011-2015.

After a self-imposed basketball exile in Greece, Pitino returned to the college ranks in 2020 as the head coach of the Iona Gaels. Pitino's teams dominated MAAC play, going 64-22 with two NCAA Tournament bids in three years before taking the St. John's job last March.


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