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Richard Pitino To Replace Isiah Thomas At Florida International

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Richard Pitino will leave Louisville to replace Isiah Thomas as the head coach at Florida International. The story was originally reported by AllKyHoops.com.

The most interesting aspect of the news for Louisville fans is the fact that Rick Pitino had previously stated that all three of his new assistants had to sign a contract forcing them to stay at U of L for at least two seasons. Pitino was apparently looking to maintain some stability on his staff after Tim Fuller bolted for Missouri following just one season with the Cardinals.

Richard Pitino, 29, began his career as an assistant coach in 2004. He spent the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons working for his father at Louisville, before leaving for a two-year stint at Florida. He then returned to U of L and helped lead the Cardinals to the Final Four this past season.

Richard will be walking into a bit of a mess at FIU. The Golden Panthers were just 26-65 in three seasons under Thomas, but that didn't stop players from walking out of an awards banquet earlier this week to protest his firing.

I know he has great ties in Florida, but it seems like a better (or at least far more stable) jumping off point would have been available for Richard had he held out a little bit longer. That said, best of luck to him at FIU.