Parting ways with head coach Mike Anderson after four seasons with minimal success, the St. John's University Red Storm basketball team started looking for a new leader. On Tuesday, the school announced the hiring of Rick Pitino to take charge of the program for the 2023-24 division one college basketball season. A hall of fame coach with a very impressive resume already under his belt, Pitino was brought on to bring the Red Storm back up to it's former glory days. The New York native seems to be a perfect fit for the team, though a controversial one as well.

National title and NBA

After finishing his playing career at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Pitino began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at the University of Hawaii in 1974. He held that position for two years, including a brief stint as the interim head coach for the last six games of the 1975-76 season, finishing with a 2-4 record. His next coaching stint was as Jim Boeheim's assistant at Syracuse University. After two seasons, Pitino landed his first head coaching job at Boston University. Under his four year leadership, the Terriers went 91-51 and made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 24 years. After two years as an assistant coach with the New York Knicks, Pitino returned to the college ranks as the head coach of Providence College Friars in 1984.

In his two lone seasons in Providence, he started making a name for himself. The Friars made it to the NIT semifinal in Pitino's first season, and next season, the team went 25-9 and danced to the final four of the 1986 tournament, losing to Syracuse.

The success of his two seasons at Providence led Pitino to his first NBA head coaching gig with his hometown Knicks.

In his two seasons as head coach, the Knicks went 90-74, including a first place finish in the 1988-89 season and going to the conference semifinals where they lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games. After resigning from that position at the end of the season, Pitino would move to the position that made him a household name when he became head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

After missing the tournament his two seasons due to the program being on probation for violations brought on by previous head coach Eddie Sutton, the Wildcats returned to dominance under Pitino's guidance, reaching the final four in 1993, winning the national title in 1996, and being the runner-up the following year.

Corruption and overseas

As a result of his success at Kentucky, Pitino was named head coach of the Boston Celtics in 1997. He resigned from the position in Jan. 2001 after three full losing seasons and no playoff appearances. Pitino returned to college basketball to fill in the vacant head coaching spot for the University of Louisville Cardinals. Under his leadership, the Cardinals became one of the top programs in the country, reaching the final four twice and winning the national championship in 2013, becoming the only coach to lead two different teams to a championship.

However, things would take a downhill turn in 2017.

On Sep. 26 of that year, it was announced that the school was under federal investigation after two assistant coaches under Pitino were accused of funneling money from Adidas, the school's main sponsor, to lure high school recruits. On top of that, it was alleged that between 2010-2014, director of basketball operations Andre McGee paid for strippers and prostitutes to provide entertainment for players. Despite claiming no knowledge of either infraction, Pitino was put on administrative leave and was officially terminated from his position on Oct. 27. Louisville was also forced to vacate their national title, which was the first time to happen in NCAA division one basketball.

After spending time away from the game, Pitino went across the Atlantic ocean to coach the Greek club Panathinaikos, where in two seasons, he led them to two Greek league championship victories and decent finishes in the euro league. His next move was to Iona College, where in three seasons, Pitino led the Gaels to two tournament appearances, before St. John's came calling.

How will the Red Storm do

The hiring of Pitino to head up the Red Storm program is an interesting one for the most part, even though he carries a dark cloud above him. It means the team is going to get revamped with new players and a new image. St. John's could return to national prominence in college basketball, but it depends on how well the team will do under Pitino's leadership. From the looks of everything, it seems that things are on the plus side for this team.