Rick Pitino is making his return to college basketball.
Pitino will become the next head coach of the Iona Gaels, the school announced on Saturday.
Former Iona head coach Tim Cluess announced on Friday that he was stepping down from the position after 10 seasons to focus on health concerns, though he is staying with the program in an advisory role.
"I am delighted to welcome Rick Pitino to Gael Nation," said Director of Athletics Matthew Glovaski. "Rick is a Hall of Fame coach who has won at the highest levels and he is committed to leading our student-athletes and our program to national prominence. He brings passion and energy and shares our desire to build a winning program that will make our community proud."
Pitino, 67, was a head coach at the college level for 32 seasons, making stops at Hawaii, Boston University, Providence, Kentucky, and Louisville, winning one NCAA Championship at both Kentucky and Louisville.
"My passion in basketball started in New York and will end there at Iona College," Pitino said. "Tim Cluess has done a spectacular job creating success and a winning spirit. I wish Tim a speedy recovery and Iona will always cherish his accomplishments. At Iona, I will work with the same passion, hunger and drive that I've had for over forty years. There is a real professionalism in how things are run here and this is a very tight, strong community. The priority in New Rochelle right now is helping students continue their education online in light of the coronavirus and I very much look forward to the day when the community is back on campus and to get to work on further elevating this strong program."
The native New Yorker also has six seasons of experience as an NBA head coach. After two years as an assistant with the Knicks from 1983-85, Pitino took over as the team's head coach in 1987-88 after his stint at Providence. The following season, he led the Knicks to 52 wins before falling to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Pitino has been the head coach of Panathinaikos in the EuroLeague since 2018, but he'll now be calling New Rochelle home.