Rick Pitino open to coaching again but says he must 'get on with a different part of my life'

The timeline that led to Pitino's firing (1:20)

Between Sept. 26 and Oct. 16, scandal engulfed the Louisville men's basketball program, leading to the suspension and eventual firing of coach Rick Pitino. (1:20)

Rick Pitino hasn't ruled out a return to coaching, but he told ESPN that he needs to move on with his life in case another opportunity doesn't present itself.

Pitino, 65, was fired by Louisville a little more than a month ago despite maintaining he wasn't aware of an alleged payment from a Cardinals assistant to the family of Brian Bowen, a freshman who hasn't been cleared to play by the school.

Pitino said he is working out three times a day in Miami, where he has moved full-time since leaving Louisville. He told ESPN he plans to attend a few upcoming games at Minnesota -- where his son, Richard, is a coach for the Golden Gophers -- including a couple of home Big Ten games.

"If a school, come April, comes to me in Miami and says, 'We believe you. We believe you were innocent,' I would give it a shot," Pitino said. "I don't care about the money, the salary.

"But the way I'm looking at it now is that I've got to get on with a different part of my life -- build a different life that doesn't include coaching. I need to be happy, be content."

Pitino said the difficult part of getting another opportunity in the college coaching ranks is that there isn't a way for him to clear his name and be "fully exonerated."

"It's the first time in 42 years I'm getting up at 6:15 in the morning and not going to work as a coach," Pitino said. "But I'm trying to keep busy, seeing friends."

Pitino said he vetted Jordan Fair, the former Louisville assistant he believes to be in question in the FBI probe, before hiring him from his job as a high school coach at Oldsmar Christian School in Florida. He also said that his biggest mistakes were hiring Fair and Andre McGee, who was at the center of the escort scandal that forced the school to self-impose a postseason ban in 2016.

Pitino said that he recently spent time with former Maryland coach and fellow Hall of Famer Gary Williams, who retired in 2011. Williams told Pitino that the most difficult aspect for Pitino will be missing practices and the sudden absence of coaching in his life.

"The way I feel today, I'm not going to coach again," Pitino said. "But that may not be my feeling in February.

"I've got to get over the hurt. It's going to take some time. But the bitterness is gone."