Hall of Famer Pitino takes over as Greece HC
Thomas Joseph-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

Rick Pitino will take over as head coach of the Greek national team, he confirmed on social media Friday.

The ex-Louisville bench boss came to an agreement with the Greek Basketball Federation after meeting with its president, according to Eurohoops' John Askounis.

Pitino will begin his tenure at the last-chance Olympic qualifying tournament in June after Greece failed to secure an automatic berth at last summer's FIBA World Cup. The nation stumbled to an 11th-place finish despite having the services of Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"Obviously it's a great honor for me to accept this position, and I'm looking forward to it," Pitino told reporters Friday, according to ESPN. "I'll spend most of the winter, once the brackets are announced, studying the film and we'll go to work."

Previous head coach Thanasis Skourtopoulos is reportedly expected to remain part of Pitino's staff.

Earlier in the week, Pitino had offered to coach the Greek national team for free.

"I told them I don't want a nickel," Pitino said, according to Eurohoops' Antonis Stroggylakis. "I don't want a penny. To me, it's a great honor to coach Greece. To me, that's worth a million dollars, the honor of coaching Greece.

"So, I don't want any money. I coach for the love of the game and I have great love for Greece and I would never take a nickel to be the coach of Greece."

Pitino's last head coaching job was with Panathinaikos of the Greek Basket League. He guided the club to a league championship during the 2018-19 campaign but turned down an offer to return as president and head coach in hopes of returning to the NBA.

Pitino's most recent gig in the Association was a forgettable tenure. He posted a 102-146 record as the head coach of the Boston Celtics from 1997-2001.

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Hall of Famer Pitino takes over as Greece HC
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