You had to kind of figure this was the case, but it's still nice to hear it from the man himself so quickly.
But U of L athletic director Tom Jurich told the C-J’s U of L beat writer C.L. Brown tonight that there will be no "coach in waiting" arrangement for Richard, saying, "That’s not the way I operate." Jurich did confirm that U of L is talking to him.
That knocks down a story moving now on national AP wires with this lead: "GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida’s Billy Donovan says assistant Richard Pitino is leaving to become the head coach in waiting at Louisville."
The direct quote from Donovan, however, is far less definitive than that AP lead, saying that for the younger Pitino to "be the associate head coach and possibly the head coach at Louisville, is an incredible opportunity."
To be "possibly the head coach" and "coach in waiting" are two different things. One is a possibility. The other is a formal plan for succession.
I don’t doubt the former. We won’t see the latter, because a formal succession arrangement for Rick Pitino would create a situation fraught with unnecessary pressure and, at the very least, distraction, for everybody.