Bearcats’ Mick Cronin Mentioned As Likely Replacement for Rick Pitino

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

In case you doubted whether Mick Cronin has a solid and growing reputation as a coach, Sports Illustrated and the Louisville Courier-Journal have mentioned Cronin as a likely replacement for Rick Pitino.  Both publications refer to Cronin’s strong track record at the University of Cincinnati, and his experience recruiting a top 10 class for Louisville as the primary reasons that he’d be a strong contender for the Card’s job.

In the SI article, they pointed out that Cronin has averaged 25.3 victories in the last four seasons at UC.  SI went on to say, “Moving to a job less than 100 miles down the road would likely answer any misgivings Cronin might have about leaving his alma mater and hometown gig, and moving up to the historic ACC from the fledgling AAC might eliminate any other doubts that linger.” The Courier-Journal article also discussed Cronin, but said that the rumblings in Louisville suggest that Shaka Smart (VCU) is at or near the top of the list of likely replacements for Pitino.

Obviously, Pitino shows no signs of slowing down or looking for an early retirement.  His 31-year-old son Richard Pitino is in his second season as a head coach, having coached FIU and now the University of Minnesota.  As a rising star in the coaching ranks, Richard may get the opportunity to replace his dad if he continues to succeed with every program he coaches.

For now, I think the Bearcat faithful can rest easy.  It’s good to know that Cronin is getting some much deserved national attention.