Report: Pitino near deal with UNLV

January 11, 2001|By PROVIDENCE JOURNAL

It appears Rick Pitino isn't going to be out of work very long.

Sources close to Pitino said the former coach and president of the Boston Celtics is close to being named coach at Nevada-Las Vegas, a deal that could be finalized in the next 10 days.

Pitino confirmed yesterday that he's been offered the job and will visit UNLV in the next few days, but stopped short of saying he's already made up his mind.

"I have a very real interest," he said, "but I still need some time to decide what I'm going to do."

The school recently was placed on NCAA probation for four years for its recruitment of former Rhode Island star Lamar Odom. Coach Bill Bayno was fired soon afterward. Since then, former assistant Max Good has served as interim coach.

Pitino also talked with UCLA athletic director Pete Dalis, even though Steve Lavin is the UCLA coach. Pitino reportedly called Lavin and told him he was not interested in the UCLA job.

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