Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sports

Rick Pitino touts USF job to protege, Manhattan's Steve Masiello

TAMPA — Amid reports that Manhattan's Steve Masiello has emerged as a serious candidate for the USF basketball coaching vacancy, his former boss, Rick Pitino, confirmed to the Tampa Bay Times that Masiello has asked him about the job.

The two coaches spoke about the vacancy late Friday night, Pitino said.

"He said, 'What do you think (about USF)?' " Pitino told the Times on Saturday in Orlando, where his Louisville team defeated St. Louis in a third-round NCAA Tournament game. "I said, 'For you, it's a grand slam.' "

Louisville defeated Masiello's Manhattan team in a second-round game Thursday in Orlando. Masiello, who played for Pitino and Tubby Smith at Kentucky and later was a Pitino assistant at Louisville, has emerged as a serious candidate for the USF job, cbssports.com reported Saturday.

Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan is believed to be among those supporting Masiello's candidacy, the report said.

A University of Kentucky alumnus and longtime USF financial supporter, Sullivan was a member of the school's inaugural board of trustees. Sullivan and Pitino are founding members of Old Memorial Golf Club in northwest Hillsborough County.

"I said, 'Steven, in the Big East, I thought (USF) was an average to marginal job at best,' " Pitino said. " 'At the conference they're in right now (American Athletic), I think it's a great job.'

"When you're going against Syracuse and Louisville and Pittsburgh and Villanova and all those schools that have better facilities and better tradition, then it's not necessarily a great job. But now, I think it's a great job. They're very, very committed.

"They built a practice facility, nice renovations (to the Sun Dome). It's a great school."

Masiello, a 36-year-old native of White Plains, N.Y., has led Manhattan to a 60-39 record in three seasons.

He was a 12-year-old ball boy for the NBA's Knicks when Pitino was coach. Masiello later attended Kentucky, where he was a seldom-used walk-on guard, but he was a member of two Final Four teams, including the 1998 national title team.

Masiello began his career as an administrative assistant at Tulane and served on Manhattan's staff for a season before joining Pitino at Louisville for six seasons.

Pitino called his protege a "great recruiter" and a "tremendous X-and-O coach."

USF is seeking a replacement for Stan Heath, who was fired March 14 after compiling a 97-130 record in seven seasons. The school, which has employed a Texas-based search firm to vet candidates, is believed to be moving expeditiously in its search.

New athletic director Mark Harlan, initially scheduled to begin work April 7, recently moved his start date to Monday, the school confirmed.

   
Comments
Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG — With all that's been said, tweeted, ranted and written on these pages and elsewhere about the Rays' odd, unorthodox, weird and some days downright wacky pitching plan, this might be the craziest thing yet:It's working.Like, rea...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and discrepancies about the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that has led to his upcoming three-game suspension for violating the NFL's conduct policy.The Bucs won't ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

Former Mitchell High player Nathan Smith taken in NHL draft by Jets

It's rare to see an NHL draft pick with Tampa Bay ties, but the Jets used a third-round pick Saturday on center Nathan Smith, 19, who played for Mitchell High School in Trinity and most recently for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the USHL.Smith was ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Report: Lightning to talk to John Tavares during free-agent courting period

Despite limited salary-cap room, the Lightning is among at least five teams expected to talk with Islanders All-Star center John Tavares, who can be a free agent July 1, when the courting period begins Sunday, ESPN reported.Tavares also is expected t...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

Rays journal: New confidence carries over for Willy Adames

ST. PETERSBURG — The key to SS Willy Adames rapping two of the biggest hits in the Rays' 4-0 win Saturday actually took place the night before.An RBI single that snapped an 0-for-12 and a second hit two winnings later in Friday's game restored ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Another small, quick forward headlines Lightning’s draft picks

Even without a first-round pick, the Lightning wrapped up its draft with seven picks Saturday, starting with Gabriel Fortier, an undersized 18-year-old forward from Quebec in the second round."They were guys that we really wanted," Lightning director...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Yankees game

INF Daniel Robertson has only played two games after a short DL stint, but it seems like he has already made a half dozen great plays. Willy Adames and Jake Bauers get the attention, but Robertson has the skills to steal the show any night.It is obvi...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Updated: 8 hours ago