Blog Entry

Pitino gets 600th career victory

Posted on: November 11, 2011 9:19 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 9:25 pm
By Gary Parrish

Rick Pitino won his 600th college game Friday night.

That's remarkable for two reasons:
  1. Pitino is just 59 years old.
  2. Pitino spent eight of his prime coaching years in the NBA.
What most don't remember is that Pitino has actually had three different stints as a professional coach. He resigned as Boston University's head coach in 1983 to become a Knicks assistant, then left the Knicks after two seasons to become Providence's head coach. After two seasons in Providence, Pitino left to become head coach of the Knicks. He spent two seasons in New York, then became Kentucky's head coach. He spent eight seasons at Kentucky, then became the Celtics' head coach. He spent four seasons in Boston, then became Louisville's head coach.

So, again, Pitino spent eight seasons in the NBA.

And he still had 599 career victories through 25 seasons as a college coach.

Now let's do some math.

Pitino accumulating 599 wins in 25 seasons means he's averaged 24 wins per season -- or one more win per season than the average of Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, the man on the verge of becoming the winningest coach in men's Division I history. If you use Pitino's average wins per season (24) and multiply it by the number of seasons he spent in the NBA (8), then take that number (192) and add it to his current win total (600), what you'll find is that it's reasonable to assume Pitino could be approaching 800 victories before the age of 60 and thus considered a real threat to break the record Krzyzewski will soon set given that he's five years younger than the Duke coach.

Did you realize that?

I didn't realize that until this afternoon.

So while I know it's easy to make Pitino jokes, and I know some of you will, the truth is that one of the nation's very best coaches reached a milestone Friday night. It didn't happen on an aircraft carrier so it won't get the attention it deserves. But the win is worth noting, and there's probably lots more to come.
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