Rick Pitino denies interest in Maryland basketball coaching job, tweets 'it will not be me'

Basketball Hall of Fame coach Rick Pitino addressed speculation connecting him to the vacant Maryland job, tweeting Thursday morning that "it will not be me."

"The University of Maryland is one of the premier institutions of higher learning," Pitino tweeted. "It's basketball program can be among the nation's best. I hope they find the next great Gary Williams. I love coaching at Iona, and I'm totally committed to my players. It will not be me."

After two seasons with the Greece club team Panathinaikos and a stint as the head coach of the Greece national team, Pitino returned to college basketball in 2020 as the head coach at Iona. In two seasons with the Gaels, Pitino has gone 36-11, with an NCAA tournament appearance last season and a regular-season title this season.

Prior to Iona hiring him in the spring of 2020, Pitino hadn't coached in college since October 2017, when Louisville fired him following an FBI investigation into college basketball. No one from the Cardinals was arrested, but they were linked to the investigation via allegations that Adidas paid $100,000 to the family of five-star prospect Brian Bowen to help convince him to sign with Louisville.

Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich were placed on unpaid administrative leave and then fired for cause.

Maryland's head coach position has been open since early December, when Mark Turgeon stepped down. Turgeon had been in charge of the Terrapins since 2011. Danny Manning has been the interim head coach, but Maryland has struggled and currently sits at 15-15 overall and 7-12 in the Big Ten.

Arkansas' Eric Musselman, Providence's Ed Cooley, USC's Andy Enfield and Seton Hall's Kevin Willard have all been linked to the vacancy.