Dear Coach Pitino,
Hi. My name is Ryan.
You probably don’t remember this, but we met once, way back in the early 1990s, when you gave a speech at DeSales High School in Louisville. (Shout out to Nick Roush there — go Colts!)
Do you remember, Coach? I had that rockin’ sweater that Mom made me wear. Here — I’ll just include the pic:
Anyway, I thought you were an amazing speaker, and I loved you as a basketball coach. Afterward, I was lucky enough to get that picture taken with you.
Just like any UK fan, I thought you hung the moon. And I was so excited that I got to meet you. It was a blast.
Now, I’m older, and let’s be honest, I’ve replaced those old pictures of you with new ones — first of Tubby, now Cal.
After you left us, you went on to coach in the League. Then you flamed out, and you went on to coach at that other school, and I thought that was just a terrible idea. I didn’t like it at all. Now, as everyone prepares for you to leave at the end of this season, you’d think I’d be happy. But no — I’ve come to one conclusion.
I don’t want you to go.
Maybe it’s the 1-8 record against Cal and UK (yeah — that’s good enough). But maybe it’s the crazier and crazier things you say at press conferences. Or maybe it’s the fact that every four seasons or so you can count on a great sex scandal to rock your university — and you can bet the scandal will, in some way, involve you.
You are a great coach. This season, your team is much more competitive than I ever thought it could be.
But even so, you have brought more embarrassment to your university, that city, and this state, than you should have ever been allowed to. (In fact, I thought you should’ve been fired long ago).
So, for all of those reasons, I say: Stay. Please don’t leave.
I think there’s a very real possibility that if you go, the university may hire a coach who can beat Kentucky every now and then. (Chris Mack? Archie Miller? Anyone else?) Or at least a coach who won’t allow embarrassing things to happen to his school.
Come on, Coach. Stay a while longer.
I wonder: For UK fans, why would we want you to leave? While you brought a national championship to UofL, you did so at such a hefty price — Constant scorn and embarrassment, along with a self-imposed ban and NCAA violations down the road. And do we all really know for certain that championship banner will stay hanging in the Louisville rafters?
All UK fans should be begging you to stay. I am.
But I get the feeling you’ll make us mad again, and leave.
So I ask you, Coach: Please stay?
Remember: Some tattoos are permanent. Louisville first, Cards forever.