Pitino: "This [Louisville] is where I want to raise my family and where I want to retire"
Unfounded specualtion and rumors on Internet message boards in recent weeks that linked University of Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino with the opening at UCLA were clearly addressed yesterday by the Cards head man at the season ending press conference.
''I just want to clear up something,'' Pitino said. ''My carousel has stopped. I've said it over and over, but I need to say it again. I had some people yelling certain schools when I'm walking out of the arena in Birmingham, and I said I'm too old to be on that carousel anymore, and I truly believe that.''
Pitino, who has compiled a 44-20 record at UofL, said there were several reasons why he wanted to nip the rumors and speculation in the bud before they escalated to the point of distraction. Besides a number of close personal relationships in this area and his love of thoroughbred horses, Pitino also senses something special brewing with his Cardinal program.
''I'm not going anywhere,'' he said. ''I could never say that with total honesty (before). I could say that to help recruiting. All coaches do that. I'm just telling you where I am at this stage of my life. This is the only place I'm going to coach -- unless they get rid of me. Then I have other options."
Pitino, who has guided the Cards national resurgence the past two years, expressed his delight with the progress of his program on the court and explained that he's also content and happy off of it in Louisville.
''This is the place for me. This is where I want to raise my family and where I want to retire. I came back here not because of the magical name of the University of Louisville -- because it is -- but I came back here to be amongst friends and raise my family and prosper in life. You can be happy between the lines anywhere, but you can't always be happy away from the lines anywhere. I'm very content and happy to be where I am.''
''For other coaches, the carousel has not stopped,'' he said Monday. ''For me, it has.''