Rick Pitino in Greece

Image courtesy: @RealPitino / Twitter

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Former University of Louisville head basketball coach Rick Pitino says he will soon be leaving Greece.

The coach tweeted Friday morning that he would be "returning home" and was "looking forward to the next chapter in my life."

Pitino has been coaching Euroleague champion Panathinaikos in Greece since Dec. 2018. That job came after the U of L athletics board fired the Hall of Fame coach in Oct. 2017, ending a storied tenure also beset by scandal.

Pitino's reputation had already been damaged by a scandal involving a sexual liaison with Karen Sypher, a woman convicted in 2010 of trying to extort millions in cash, cars and a house from the coach.

That would be followed years later with a prostitutes-for-recruits scandal that was never tied directly to Pitino, but resulted in the loss of a national championship won under his watch. The U of L men's basketball program's involvement in the national adidas pay-for-play scandal -- in which Pitino was never directly implicated or charged -- ended with Pitino's ouster from Louisville.

In his online statement Friday morning, Pitino did not say what the "next chapter" of his would would involve, but before arriving in Greece, he was trying to get back into coaching college basketball, or into the NBA.

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