Rich Pitino's official coaching biography reportedly contained false information
New U of M coach Rich Pitino (right) joined his dad and visited Louisville player Kevin Ware in the hospital last weekend after Ware broke his leg in horrifying fashion during a game.
The coaching biography of new University of Minnesota men's basketball coach Rich Pitino contained a falsehood at each of his last four jobs, according to Patrick Reusse.
Reusse, who isn't a fan of the Pitino hiring and has written that he would've preferred Flip Saunders, reports that Pitino, knowingly or not, repeatedly embellished his experience at the College of Charleston, where he briefly worked in 2005.
Here's what Pitino's biography at Florida International (his most recent job and only one as a head coach) said: "Pitino served as an administrative assistant under Tom Herrion at the College of Charleston during the Cougars' 18-10 season in 2004-05.''
But it turns out someone named Scott Kelly actually worked as the Charleston men's basketball team's administrative assistant during that impressive season, and this week Kelly sent emails to local media members and published posts on gophersports.com highlighting the discrepancy. Here's some of what Kelly has been saying:
"Richard Pitino was NOT the Administrative Assistant at the College of Charleston from 2004-2005 because I WAS. Our staff that year was Tom Herrion as the head coach. Then we had Pat Skerry (current Towson head coach), Sean Ryan (now in the Boston area), and Lamont Franklin as assistants. Troy Wheless was the DBO [director of basketball operations]. Then there was me...
"Congratulations on hiring a coach who has lied on his resume for the past 8 years since he took the job at Duquesne, a la George O'Leary at Notre Dame football back in 2001. The reason I know is that he is literally claiming a job that I DID and he was nowhere around this section of the United States. Unfortunately no one has fact-checked his resume and took it as the gospel truth because of his dad's name (kind of like happened with O'Leary).
I assume your university also failed to adequately fact check since he got this far on his dad's name. I attempted to email the athletic department with no response. You guys can now deal with the embarrassment and lies (a la George O'Leary) that come out in other ways.''
In truth, it appears Pitino, 30, was hired at Charleston in August or September of 2005, months after the 2004-05 season concluded. He only worked there for a handful of weeks before leaving for another job.
Reusse asked a U employee about the falsehood in Pitino's bio, and the employee then got in touch with the Gophers' new coach. Regarding the false "administrative assistant" claim, Pitino told the employee, "That shouldn't be in there."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.