By Craig Meyer/DFP Staff
Just as Rick Pitino closed speculation on one name for the open Boston University basketball coaching position, he opened the proverbial floodgates on another.
In the same Tuesday press conference in which he announced that his son Richard Pitino would not be taking the BU job because of a two-year commitment contract, the University of Louisville coach endorsed former Louisville and current Indiana Pacers assistant Walter McCarty for the position.
McCarty was an assistant for the Cardinals under Pitino from 2007-2010 before moving on to his current position with the Pacers, and also played for Pitino at the University of Kentucky, starting for Kentucky's 1996 NCAA national championship team. After leaving Kentucky, McCarty played in the NBA for 10 seasons, spending a majority of his career with the Boston Celtics, where he played from 1997-2005.
While Pitino admitted he's not sure how likely it is that McCarty will ultimately be hired, he feels that his former player's strong connection with the city of Boston would make him a great fit at BU.
"Walt would be a great candidate for the job," Pitino said in the press conference. "Being an ex-Celtic, he's very, very popular in that town. He would be a tremdendous fit for Boston University, but I don't know what they're thinking or what roads they are traveling."
Pitino, who also coached McCarty for three of his seasons on the Celtics, began his head coaching career at BU in 1978 when he was just 25-years-old.
Pitino's endorsement was followed Wednesday with a report from The Indianapolis Star that Pacers interim head coach Frank Vogel was told that if we were to be hired as the full time coach that he would need to replace several assistants, among them McCarty.
McCarty's name joins a list of speculated candidates that includes University of Maryland assistant and BU graduate Scott Spinelli, University of North Carolina-Charlotte and former BU assistant Orlando Vandross, University of Washington assistant Raphael Chillious, along with interim head coach Brian Daly.