Year in Review: 1997


Re-rank the list of top sports stories of 1997


Find out more about:

Tiger Woods takes
golf world by storm

Pedro Martinez signs
record deal with Sox

Latrell Sprewell
assaults coach, gets ax

Rick Pitino becomes
Celtics coach, president

Bill Parcells quits after Patriots' banner year

Martina Hingis
rules women's tennis

Florida Marlins win World Series

Women's pro hoop
meets with success

A Patriots surprise:
Super Bowl XXXI berth

Wil Cordero charged
with assaulting wife

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Check out the top news stories of 1997


Compiled by David Fagan, 05/09/97

- Coached Kentucky for the past eight seasons, compiling a 218-48 record and guiding the Wildcats to the Final Four three times (1993, '96, '97), with one national championship (1996), their first since 1978 and the eighth in the program's history . . . During Pitino's first two years at the helm, Kentucky was on NCAA probation for recruiting violations prior to his tenure . . . Pitino averaged 27 wins a year at Kentucky.

- Coached the New York Knicks for the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons, leading the team to the Atlantic Division title in his second year (the Knicks won only 24 games the year before he arrived, finishing 35 games behind the Celtics) . . . Their 52-30 record in '88-89 was their best since 1983-84 (47-35), when Pitino was an assistant under Hubie Brown (1983-85).

- Coached Providence College for two years, 1985-86 and 1986-87, leading the Friars to the Final Four in his second season . . . Was 42-23 in his two years after the Friars had gone 11-20 the year before he arrived.

- Coached Boston University to a 91-51 record over five seasons (1978-83), including two 21-win campaigns . . . Pitino's talent for rebuilding began at BU, where he took a team that had won 17 games in the two years before he arrived to the NCAA tournament in his last season -- the Terriers' first appearance in 24 years.

- Was an assistant at Syracuse from 1976-78 under Jim Boeheim -- the Orangemen's coach when Kentucky beat them for the 1996 national title.

- Played point guard for the University of Massachusetts 1971-74 . . . Was on the freshman team when Julius Erving played on the varsity (1970-71) . . . Was team captain his senior year . . . Ranks seventh at UMass in career assists (329) and sixth in single-season assists (168) . . . Graduated in 1974.

- Pitino and his wife, Joanne, have five children -- Michael, Christopher, Richard, Ryan, and Jaclyn. Christopher is a student at Milton Academy.

- Thirteen of his former assistants have moved on to head coaching jobs in the college and pro ranks, including Jeff Van Gundy (Knicks), Stu Jackson (Knicks, Wisconsin, Vancouver), Gordon Chiesa (PC, now assistant with the Utah Jazz), Billy Donovan (Marshall, Florida), and Tubby Smith (Tulsa, Georgia).

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