FIU tabs Richard Pitino as head coach

Former Louisville assistant coach Richard Pitino, son of head coach Rick Pitino, has been named the head men's basketball coach at Florida International University, the school announced Monday.

He becomes the seventh head coach in program history.

In his three seasons with the Cardinals, Louisville went 88-25 and reached the NCAA Elite Eight in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 as well as reaching the NCAA National Championship game in 2011-12.

"Richard Pitino is one of the top young coaching talents in the nation," FIU director of sports and entertainment Pete Garcia said. "We are looking forward to having him lead our men's basketball team. His experience at such programs at Louisville, Florida and Providence will be invaluable toward our growth. He has had tremendous success with every team he has been associated with during his coaching career. Richard will be a great asset to our University and our basketball program."

Prior to his time at Louisville, Pitino was an assistant at Duquesne (2006-07), as well as at Northeastern (2005-06).

"I'm delighted for Richard," Rick Pitino said. "He has done great things for us here at Louisville. He has had a big impact on our program. Personally, I am going to miss him. Professionally, we are going to miss having him on our bench. His work ethic is second to none. FIU has made a great hire."

Richard Pitino replaces Isiah Thomas, who was fired on April 6. Thomas spent three seasons in charge of the FIU program, guiding the Golden Panthers to a record of 26-65. This year's team finished 8-21.

The Panthers were just 7-25 in his first season and improved to 11-19 in his second year.