Louisville extends Pitino’s contract
by C.L. Brown, USA TODAY Sports
The University of Louisville announced men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino signed a five-year contract extension that runs until June 30, 2022.
His original deal was set to end in 2017, but with this extension he’ll be locked up at Louisville until just months before his 70th birthday. Athletic director Tom Jurich said it would be “cheating the game of basketball” if Pitino retired.
Although Pitino said he contemplated retiring when his deal ran out in 2017, but thought about several close friends who left the game only to return to work. Pitino said as long as he was healthy he would be on the sidelines.
“I don’t know if I could live without basketball,” said Pitino, who is 60. “Even broadcasting. I wouldn’t have the highs and the lows and I guess every coach lives for that.”
Pitino will continue to make $3.9 million annually through the extension. The changes from his current agreement are incentive based. He’ll get a $50,000 bonus for being the regular season conference champion or co-champion; a $100,000 bonus for being the Associated Press National Coach of the Year.
Also new to the deal are $600,000 retention bonuses — for a combined total of $3 million if he stays through 2022 — that he’s set to receive every two years starting on July 1, 2014 for the remainder of the contract.
C.L. Brown also writes for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal